Australian Wine Company Slammed with Hefty Fine for Spamming



An Australian liquor company found themselves in the hot seat when the country’s
Communications and Media Authority’s investigation of their email marketing practices found they were in violation of the Spam Act. The authority said Cellarworks Wine’s messages did not have the opt-out feature that’s required by the law, and fined the company over $100,000.  The company further violated the law by ignoring customer’s requests to be removed from their mailing list and continued sending marketing emails.

“You need to be really careful that you’re compliant with the spam regulations. Some programs are really well set up to have automatic opt outs, but when people try and do it themselves in-house or through Outlook, they’re not using this automatic technology and it’s easy to come unstuck,” Marketing Angels founder Michelle Gamble says. “There’s nothing worse than if you keep sending stuff to people who don’t want it anymore. As well as losing existing customers, you’ll also lose potential customers from the negative word of mouth.”

The company has had no comment. Earlier this year the authority issued a stern warning to Groupon after learning customer opt-out requests were not being properly acknowledged. These days, it simply doesn’t pay to be sloppy about email marketing. Invest in the right tools and remember it’s important to familiarize yourself with and adhere to the spam laws in your country and any country you plan to market to. Test your systems regularly and investigate and respond to any complaints promptly. Your company’s reputation and livelihood depend on it.

Written by Sue Walsh

1 Comment

  1. Kim · June 30, 2013

    Companies – whether involved in email marketing or not – should take note of this incident because it can happen to them, especially if they are not careful about following spam regulations. I agree with Sue, sending out emails to people who do not want them will definitely paint a negative portrait of a company. Eventually, word of mouth will turn negative and the business’ productivity will be greatly affected. There are better ways of doing things. Cellarworks Wines should consider their customers’ safety and satisfaction top priority if they want to stay longer in the business and marketing scene.

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