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Pizza Hut Fined for Sending Unsolicited Marketing SMS and Emails

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In May 2024 the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) finalised their investigation report on the Pizza Pan Group Pty Ltd (“Pizza Hut”) and fined Pizza Hut more than $2.5 million dollars for breaching Australian spam laws.

Over the period of five months, in breach of the Spam Act 2003 (“Spam Act”) Pizza Hut sent:

  • Almost six million SMS/emails without the consent of customers;
  • Over four million SMS/emails that did not contain a link or function to unsubscribe from receiving further messages; and
  • 100 SMS/emails that did not contain accurate information, in that it did not contain the details of how to contact the sender of the message, Pizza Hut.

“Consent” has a very specific meaning under the Spam Act. It is important to know that:

  1. A customer can provide consent to only receiving marketing messages through a specific communication channel.
    For example, Pizza Hut was fined because it sent marketing emails to customers that only consented to receiving marketing messages via SMS.
  2. Customers can withdraw consent by making a request to unsubscribe from future marketing messages. The withdrawal of consent takes effect five business days from the day it was sent.

In this matter, Pizza Hut sent almost 500,000 messages to customers who had made a request to unsubscribe more than five business days prior to receiving the message.

Take aways

This is a timely reminder for all businesses that send marketing campaigns to customers to review your processes and ensure that you are compliant with the Spam Act.

If you require assistance with complying with the Spam Act or with reviewing your marketing campaigns to avoid other issues such as making misleading representations or greenwashing, please contact MST’s Corporate Advisory team on +61 3 8540 0200 or as follows:

Louise Wolf +61 3 8540 0273 louise.wolf@mst.com.au

Carmen Wu +61 3 8540 0288 carmen.wu@mst.com.au