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McDonalds fried for serving spam

Ronald didn't ask if kids wanted email with that, angering Oz regulator

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Australia’s Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has flogged McDonalds with lettuce leaves after the fast food concern didn’t properly think of the children with an online promotion that served up big helpings of spam emails.

The case came about after McDonalds’ antipodean outpost cooked up happymeal.com.au and baked in a ‘send to friends’ feature that allowed users to tell their mates about the site. But McDonalds never asked those friends if they wanted fries with that. Nor did the messages offer to remove the pickle, or allow opt-out from future messages.

That left the email campaign dangerously underdone according to Australia’s spam laws.

McDonalds got off with a formal warning that ACMA says represents “an opportunity to address those issues, but also warns them that stronger enforcement action may be taken if the non-compliance is not rectified or it recurs.”

McDonalds has removed the spam-generating feature from the menu on the Happy Meals site and promised not to let thick shakes freeze its brain when it devises recipes for new marketing campaigns. ®

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