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January, 2024

Outdoor Supacentre pays $302,500 penalty for breaching spam laws

Outdoor Supacentre Pty Ltd, trading as 4WD Supacentre, has been penalised $302,500 for breaching Australian spam laws.

The company sent over 83,000 marketing text messages without consent or to customers who had previously unsubscribed. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) found that between December 2022 and May 2023, Outdoor Supacentre sent 81,698 text messages to recipients without their consent and 1,575 texts to customers who had previously unsubscribed.

“Businesses have a responsibility not to send unwanted spam and also to respect people’s wishes when they ask to stop receiving these messages,” said ACMA member, Samantha Yorke. Prior to the formal investigation, ACMA sent five spam compliance alerts to Outdoor Supacentre following consumer complaints.

“The alerts serve as a warning that businesses may have compliance issues with their e-marketing systems, so it’s disappointing that Outdoor Supacentre didn’t take the opportunity to adequately address the problems before we had to step in,” Yorke added.

In addition to the financial penalty, ACMA has accepted a three-year court-enforceable undertaking from Outdoor Supacentre. As part of the undertaking, the company will appoint an independent consultant to review its compliance with spam rules and make necessary improvements. The company will also have to report regularly to the ACMA.

“Any business that conducts e-marketing needs to follow the rules and the way you do that is by regularly reviewing your processes to ensure they remain within the law,” Yorke emphasised.

This action follows recent enforcement against other companies that have breached the spam laws, including Kmart, DoorDash, Ticketek and Uber. Over the last 18 months, businesses have paid more than $12.5 million in penalties for breaches of the spam rules. “Outdoor Supacentre used a third-party provider for elements of its marketing processes, but companies can’t outsource their compliance obligations,” Yorke concluded.