No, McDonald's is not releasing a McSpam burger. However, the fast food giant has been issued with a formal warning by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for sending unsolicited spam emails — a reminder to all businesses to exercise caution with email promotions.
McDonald's got in trouble for including a 'send to friend' link on its Happy Meals web site, encouraging kids to enter email addresses of other individuals. Under the Spam Act, no commercial messages can be sent without explicit consent from the user. Adding to the problem, the messages did not include an unsubscribe facility. McDonald's has now removed the option from the site.
ACMA describes this approach as "friend get friend" marketing, and warns against businesses using it. "When sending your marketing messages, you must make sure that there is consent from the actual person who is going to receive your message," ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said. "You can't just assume consent has been given.'