Upside.Digital’s response to the ACMA findings

Upside Digital News

Upside.Digital specialise in lead acquisition and optimisation, representing over 400 publishers in the Australian email advertising landscape since 2009. We have worked and partnered with Email Service Providers to continue to be at the forefront of email marketing, email advertising and lead nurturing both with publishers and advertisers alike. We are at our core a performance based network where advertisers can leverage from our network of publishers to advertise their products or services.

We have a strict publisher onboarding process and get all publishers to sign terms and conditions specifically stating that they adhere to Spam compliance. Despite this, it was found that ONE publisher had, in fact, contravened the SPAM Act during a set period within 2015. As it was our offers that were included in these email sends, despite us being the network, not the sender, it was the ACMA’s view that we contravened the Act.

This type of behaviour we take very seriously and since this time Upside.Digital has been working closely with the ACMA in respect to third party email sends across the industry to improve Publisher and Advertiser understanding of the Act, especially in respect to section 17 (a) and (b) – Identity.

One thing that did come to light that there was a gap in current practices across the industry and the ACMA’s view on how section 17 (Identity) relates specifically to newsletters and solus emails promoting 3rd party products or services. Publishers have historically operated without including the advertisers’ contact details within each email which is sent out, i.e. the business address or contact phone number. Instead, only the publisher’s address, contact details (contained within the header and footer information along with unsubscribe functionalities) and the advertiser’s Company name have been included as this is the business which should be contacted if the email list subscriber wishes to ask any questions regarding their subscription to the email list.

Publishers must also include the contact details, of any 3rd party advertiser they are promoting within their newsletters or solus emails. A link to the advertiser’s contact form within the email is simply not enough.

Upside Digital has agreed to an infringement notice from the ACMA for this publisher and specific findings on section 17, and are fully committed to continue working with the ACMA. Upside Digital would like to ensure that all parties involved in the sending of 3rd party advertisements are aware of their obligations of SPAM compliance.

Upside.Digital is considered as a leader within the email marketing arena in terms of best practices and would like to continue to be at the forefront with continued education for both advertisers and publishers alike.

We have recently posted some articles which further explains the requirements for both Advertisers and Publishers in plain and simple terms.

There are three key elements to the Spam Act 2003, which are: