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Pizza Hut fined $2.5m for deluge of spam texts and emails

Pizza-maker panned for sending more than 10 million marketing messages in less than six months.

user icon David Hollingworth
Thu, 16 May 2024
Pizza Hut fined $2.5 million for deluge of spam texts and emails
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Old-school fast-food chain Pizza Hut has been hit with a $2.5 million fine by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) after an investigation found the company had sent out millions of spam emails in a single five-month period.

According to an ACMA investigation, Pizza Hut sent more than 10 million spam messages to customers via text and email between January and May 2023.

The ACMA found the messages had been sent to customers who had either withdrawn consent or never consented to receive marketing material in the first place.

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In addition, Pizza Hut sent 4,364,971 marketing messages without any unsubscribe option in the same period.

ACMA spokesperson Samantha Yorke said consumers continue to be frustrated by such activity.

“Some of the customers involved had attempted to unsubscribe several times and received multiple messages after trying to stop them,” Yorke said in a statement.

“The public expects more from businesses who are using their data. They have a right not to be sent marketing messages if they haven’t consented or have chosen to unsubscribe.”

Pizza Hut Australia has agreed to a “comprehensive three-year court-enforceable undertaking” to appoint an independent consultant to manage its legal compliance and improve the company’s marketing communications.

“The spam rules have been in place for over 20 years, and there is simply no excuse for failing to uphold the rights of consumers. It is particularly disappointing when well-known businesses with large customer bases fail to meet their obligations in the way Pizza Hut has,” Yorke said.

“The penalties for breaching can be very serious, and all companies that conduct e-marketing should check their compliance systems are working effectively so they’re not spamming customers.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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