What Advertisers need to know about the Australian Spam Act 2003

 In Articles, Email Marketing, Lead Generation

What Advertisers Need to Know about the Australian Spam Act 2003

As an advertiser, you need to tap into as many marketing and advertising channels as possible in order to successfully get your products and services in front of the right audiences. These include printed marketing collaterals and direct and indirect digital assets that you may be able to have access to. In the digital age, perhaps one of the most utilised forms of digital marketing is email marketing—the method of sending email promotions to a specific mailing list in an attempt to make conversions.

On the surface, email marketing might seem easy. Tthe hardest part is gathering and building a responsive and compliant database. However, constantly bombarding the same email list with numerous promos may lessen the impact of your offers and push your subscribers to unsubscribe. More importantly, there are rules that govern the field of email marketing. As an advertiser, whether you’re using a publisher for your marketing efforts or not, you need to make sure that you follow these rules to prevent possible breaches of the Australian Spam Act 2003.

The Spam Act of 2003

In an effort to prevent email spam and unsolicited email marketing messages from unknown publishers or advertisers, the Spam Act of 2003 was initiated by the Australian Government. In its core, the goal of the Spam Act is to improve the process of email marketing on the consumer side and make sure that advertisers and publishers are not abusing the system. Since an email address is an extension of one’s identity, it is essential that companies afford this avenue the privacy and respect it deserves,

If you are not well-versed with the Spam Act of 2003, here are some of the most vital points that you should take note of:

  • Consent – In section 16 of the Spam Act, the idea of privacy and consent of individuals when receiving email marketing offers are indicated. The gist of this section is that, before advertisers send out publicity materials to their mailing list, they need to have consent from the client first. They should actively express consent by subscribing to your mailing list and providing their email address to you on their own volition.


  • Identity – When sending an email marketing material to your mailing list, Section 17 of the Spam Act requires you to clearly present your identity as an organisation and how you can be reached in the Solus email.


  • Unsubscribe Option – In section 18 of the Spam Act, it is stated that people should have an easy way to opt out of the mailing list should they want to do so immediately. This is to make sure that people have the option to remove themselves from the mailing list if they mistakenly consented to enter in it or if they do not want to receive emails from the advertiser or publisher anymore.


As an advertiser, you need to be aware of these salient points in the Spam Act to make sure that you do not face legal issues and you continue to provide top-quality email marketing materials to your mailing list and target customers.

Delving Deeper into Section 17 of the Spam Act

As mentioned, advertisers need to make sure that they are clearly presenting their identity as an organisation when sending out email marketing materials to their mailing list. No matter how clearly and beautifully-presented your email marketing layout is, it would still be considered as spam when you do not include advertising contact details in the bottom part of the email.

Most advertisers make use of publishers when sending out commercial emails to a specific mailing list. More often than not, advertisers take a look at the content layout and neglect to check whether advertising contact details are included in the layout or not.

This should be avoided at all costs.

You may think that the liability for this only rests upon the publishers since they were the party who clicked the “send” button. However, since they technically did it on your behalf, you can still be held liable and will face the consequences if you do not make sure that you have clear contact details in your solus email.

Here are some of the most important details you should include at the bottom part of your email material:

  • Contact details that are not likely to change for a minimum of 30 days
  • Business and/or legal trading name
  • Business address
  • Email
  • Phone number
  • Link to a webpage will all these details

Strictly Enforce the Spam Act as an Advertiser

As an advertiser, make sure that your email marketing materials are following the Spam Act to prevent facing legal issues. Do not leave the responsibility of checking all details to your publisher, as their oversight can lead to problems on your behalf. Be a responsible advertiser now! To know more about the Spam Act, you may read our other materials or contact us for clarifications.


Talk to us today about how to run a compliant and effective lead generation campaign.


Jimmy L’Almont

About: Jimmy L’Almont Jimmy L’Almont is the Managing Director of EMBR Group, a digital marketing agency that he founded in 2015. EMBR Group specialise in digital lead generation and [...]