The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) have reprimanded Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (VHA), Coca-Cola, Big Mobile and media agency Tongue for a spam campaign.

The Coca-Cola campaign breached the spam act, costing Tongue $22,000. Big Mobile will pay compensation to each recipient of the SMS messages breaching the act for a 12 month period. VHA has paid $110,000 to the ACMA under an ‘enforceable undertaking’. Coca-Cola was formally warned for its role in the campaign.

The messages provided no information on how to unsubscribe or contact the company. The messages read:

a hint from your PC and reboot. Youll work faster. Reclaim your lunch
hour with a friend. Escape with a Coca-Cola lunch break.

The campaign, run in October 2008, involved 100,000 unsolicited SMS messages sent on two occasions.

“The ACMA considers that well resourced companies should be compliance leaders. There is no excuse for them to fall short in their obligations under the Spam Act for SMS marketing campaigns,” said Chris Chapman, ACMA chairman.

“VHA, New Dialogue and Big Mobile are businesses which by their very nature are heavily involved in SMS marketing campaigns. The ACMA nonetheless notes their commitment to the process of achieving compliance with the requirements of the Spam Act. I would keenly hope that their actions and responses provide a sobering reminder to all of the players in the SMS marketing industry about the importance of compliance.”