ICO hands out £600,000 worth of fines in nuisance marketing crackdown

fine and gavel

TheInformation Commissioner's Office (ICO) has fined four companies a combined total of 600,000 for harassing citizens with their marketing.

Barrington Claims, Newday, Goody Market UK and TFLI have all been named and shamed in the ICO's latest crackdown on companies misusing text and phone-based marketing.In total, the ICO received hundreds of complaints from the public about these businesses, prompting investigations.

It was discovered that Barrington Claims had madeover 15 million automated calls about PPI between February 2016 and May 2016.Newday sent44 million spam emails promoting its financial products between April 2015 and January 2017, sometimes using third parties to send emails to people who had subscribed to other websites owned by the firm.

Goody Market was responsible for sending111,367 spam texts using details bought from another firm by a data broker, while TFLI sent 1.19 million unsolicited text messages using details provided by other companies.

The four companies were fined 250,00, 230,000, 40,000 and 80,000 respectively. Had the fines been imposed six months later, they would have been much higher under theEuropean Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The ICO said all had knowingly broken the law by not having the recipients' permission to send such marketing messages.

"Firms cannot get away with failing to follow the rules designed to protect people from the irritation and, on occasions, distress nuisance calls, emails and texts cause,"Andy Curry, ICO Enforcement Group Manager, said.

"I would urge anyone bothered by nuisance marketing to report it to us. Your reports help us take action against firms like those we have fined today, putting a stop to the trouble they cause."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.