The Information Commissioner’s Office (the “ICO”) has issued £100,000 fines against organisations engaged in illegal direct telephone call and text marketing activity. As the ICO averages fines of almost £10,000 per day in 2016 and receives around 13,000 complaints per month, organisations must now review their direct marketing strategies and push legal compliance higher up their corporate agendas before it is too late.
What does the law say?
Direct marketing laws are contained within the Data Protection Act 1998 (“DPA”) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (“PECR”).
Organisations cannot send unsolicited electronic direct marketing communications (e-mail, text, fax or automated calls) to an individual, unless that individual has agreed to receive them or there is a pre-existing customer relationship between the organisation and the individual. The organisation must also provide the individual with an opportunity to opt out of receiving future electronic communications and maintain suppression lists so that opted out individuals do not continue to receive communications.