ICO fine Manchester Company LAD media for disruptive Texts

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

The original source of this article was the ICO and it is news from January 2017 – prior to GDPR coming in to affect. The fine would not be equal in the modern climate.

An examination by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has discovered that a Greater Manchester firm infringed upon the law around how associations can utilize customer details when sending promotional/marketing texts.

LAD Media, which is registered in Bury and has an office in Sale, has been fined £50,000 by the ICO for actuating the sending of almost 400,000 spam messages regarding debt.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement, said:

“LAD Media did not comply with the law designed to protect people from receiving disruptive spam texts.

“This resulted in over 150 complaints about the text messages they were behind, and undoubtedly many other people were left frustrated and annoyed by the texts. We’ve used these complaints to investigate the firm, resulting in today’s fine.”

The content of the text message was as follows:

“Government schemes allow you to write off a high % of debt you cannot afford, reply HELP or go to www.resolvefinance .co.uk for information. Or Stop to opt-out.”

Mr Eckersley said:

“I’d encourage anyone bothered by a spam text to report it via the tool on the ICO website or via the 7726 services. These reports inform our investigations and help us take action against firms responsible.”

Phone users can report the receipt of spam messages by sending the message to 7726. The ICO is given this data to investigate.

LAD Media told the ICO that it had bought the information used to send instant messages from another supplier. The instant messages had then been sent for its sake by another organization.

The law says that associations purchasing in arrangements of individuals’ details to use for marketing or getting another firm to do promoting for them, should still ensure they consent to the law. That can be achieved through checks to ensure the individual details to have been obtained reasonably and legitimately, and that the individuals have given consent to get the instant messages.

More advice on the most proficient method to agree to the guidelines around direct showcasing is accessible on the ICO site.

The principles on electronic mail marketing (which incorporates text messages) are in guideline 22 of PECR. So, you should not send electronic mail marketing to people, except if:

they have explicitly consented to electronic mail from you;


they are a current client who purchased (or consulted to purchase) a comparative item or administration from you before, and you gave them a straightforward method to quit both when you previously gathered their details and in each message, you have sent.

You should not camouflage or cover your identity, and you should give a substantial contact address so they can opt-out or withdraw.