The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


The Warehouse fined for marketing practice

17 December 2015

The Warehouse Group Ltd has been fined almost $20,000 for repeatedly sending marketing emails to people who had asked not to receive them. This is the largest civil infringement notice issued by the Department under the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007.

Internal Affairs’ Electronic Messaging Compliance Unit Manager, Toni Demetriou, said the Warehouse was investigated and formally warned about its practices in January 2011. Four years later further complaints sparked another separate investigation which established 132 breaches of the law.

“Obtaining the recipient’s consent as well as acting on unsubscribe requests from recipients are critical elements of the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007,” Toni Demetriou said. “If a recipient uses an unsubscribe facility within a commercial electronic message then the recipient has withdrawn their consent to receive future marketing messages.”

Companies and organisations need to comply with the legislation. It is also critical that they have robust policies, procedures and operating practices around their Email and SMS marketing practices. The application and management of information communication technologies and marketing platforms used to send marketing messages must also be robust and operated in a way that enables the law to be complied with. There needs to be a “managed interaction” between people and the technologies that are used and not just a reliance on the technology. Any services connected with the sending of commercial electronic messages that are contracted out and managed by third parties on behalf of a company must also be compliant with the legislation. Those contracted services also require a “managed interaction” between the company authorising the sending of the commercial messages and the third party who is sending those messages on a company’s behalf.

The Warehouse did not lodge an objection under the Act to the civil infringement notice and has paid the $19,800 imposed in full.

Media contact:
Trevor Henry, senior communications adviser, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 04 495 7211; cell 021 245 8642

Toni Demetriou, Manager Electronic Messaging Compliance, Department of Internal Affairs
Ph 021 937 630