Australian media watchdog warns Coke over a spam marketing campaign

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Melbourne, Nov 10 (ANI): The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has formally warned Coca-Cola over a spam marketing campaign, but spared it from a monetary penalty, unlike the three other companies involved.

The communications watchdog issued Coca-Cola South Pacific with a formal warning for causing commercial electronic messages to be sent without an unsubscribe facility and not providing contact information, as required under the Spam Act.

The ACMA has accepted enforceable undertakings from three companies - Vodafone, New Dialogue and Big Mobile - over alleged breaches of the Spam Act.

In October last year, 100,000 unsolicited SMS messages promoting certain Coca-Cola products were sent to mobile phones on two separate occasions.

"Take a hint from your PC and reboot," the message read. "You'll work faster. Reclaim your lunch hour with a friend. Escape with a Coca-Cola lunch break."

But the messages did not contain any information about how a recipient could unsubscribe from receiving further messages, or contain information about how the recipient could contact Coca-Cola South Pacific, the authorising organisation, News.com.au reports.

ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said there was no excuse for the companies to fall short in their obligations under the Spam Act in terms of SMS marketing campaigns.

The communications watchdog has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Vodafone, which includes a financial component of 110,000 dollars, in response to three investigations into alleged breaches of the Spam Act, including the soft drink giant'[s marketing campaign.

Enforceable undertakings were also accepted from media agency New Dialogue and content supplier Big Mobile in relation to the spam campaign, News.com.au reports.

Chapman said all three companies were by their very nature heavily involved in SMS marketing campaigns. (ANI)

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