Grays, which is responsible for shopping website GraysOnline, has been fined $165,000 for sending marketing emails that did not comply with the Spam Act.

An Australian Communications and Media Authority found the a decision by Grays that an email campaign introducing its GraysEscape website was not promotional, was incorrect. As a result of the decision, Grays sent messages without an opt-out facility and to some people who had previously withdrawn their consent to receiving marketing messages.

The Spam Act requires that all marketing emails are sent with the consent of the recipient, and include an option for recipients to opt-out of receiving further marketing messages.

“This case demonstrates the domino effect one wrong decision can have,” said ACMA deputy chairman, Richard Bean.

“Businesses take a huge risk if they decide an email doesn’t need to comply with the Spam Act.

“This conduct involved a conscious decision by an experienced e-marketer. The consequences of getting it wrong can be severe—from potential penalties such as this, to damaging your reputation.”