Consent expectations for businesses using direct marketing

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The ACMA has today released a Statement of Expectations on the use of consumer consent to provide guidance to businesses that undertake email, SMS, and telephone marketing. The Statement sets out steps for businesses to ensure they have consumer consent before conducting telemarketing and e-marketing. It is an outcome-focused guide to better practice – designed to assist businesses to meet both consumer expectations and their minimum legal requirements. The statement, and the laws that it relates to, apply to any businesses that markets to Australian consumers by phone, email, or SMS, regardless of their size or turnover.

The ACMA recommends that businesses use express consent based on clear terms and conditions (T&Cs) that are accessible to consumers. T&Cs should explain what the marketing is for, who will use it, how long it will be used, and how consent can be withdrawn. Consumers should also be able to easily unsubscribe or withdraw their consent to receive direct marketing. The guidance provided in the Statement supplements rules set out in the Spam Act 2003, the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 and associated standards and regulations. Businesses conducting telemarketing and e-marketing must follow these rules. Over the last 18 months businesses have paid more than $15 million in spam and telemarketing penalties and the ACMA has just announced a compliance focus on misleading marketing messages in 2024–25.

Above is a media release 1/07/2024) from the Australian Communications and Media Authority or the ACMA.