Gap fined $180,000 for mass text messaging in New Zealand

By Barbara Tasch, CNN • Updated 11th November 2018

New Zealand news organization Newshub has won a settlement against American clothing company Gap after it alleged the company secretly sent out unsolicited text messages to thousands of New Zealanders.

A spokesperson for Gap said Friday that the company “was being investigated by the CRTC over a small number of unsolicited text messages that were sent by a vendor. The vendor is no longer working with us, and we apologize to our customers for any confusion and inconvenience that may have resulted.”

CNN has reached out to Gap for comment, but has not yet received a response.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported Saturday that CRTC rules have prohibited text messaging to Canadians since 2007.

But in the Newshub report, which aired in March, a “sales representative for the company was seen handing over a file-sharing tool to multiple reporters.”

Last month, Newshub filed a formal complaint to the CRTC about the text messages sent by Gap Canada to over 17,000 people without their permission.

Newshub initially received 80 text messages, from Gap Canada, between March 8 and April 7 of this year.

Newshub reported that many of the recipients were “young women who were listed as former customers of Gap.”

The CRTC told CNN that as a result of the investigation, it fined Gap $180,000 in September.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the fine is the largest ever imposed for a violation of the Canadian Law against Unauthorized Messaging in Canadian dollars.

Newshub said it settled with Gap for $4,200 after it received an additional $1,300, which includes legal fees, for evidence.

CNN contacted Gap for comment but has not yet received a response.

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