Marketing Texts without Consent results in Fines

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

This article refers to fines prior to GDPR (May 2018) coming in to affect.

Its original source is the ICO blog and it is a good example of how the ICO used to prosecute.

Credit intermediary Digitonomy Ltd was fined £120,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for being in charge of millions of marketing texts sent without consent.

Between April 2015 and February 2016 there were 1,464 complaints about the spam text which urged individuals to apply for credit/money loans and guided them to organization sites.

An ICO examination uncovered the Chester-based business utilized affiliate marketing companies to convey more than 5,000,000 messages offering money advances as a component of an advertising effort. Digitonomy gave instances of the consent wording from the partner organizations including:

“You consent to us and our trusted partners contacting you by SMS, mail, email, telephone and automated message.”

The law says this sort of consent isn’t sufficient for sending marketing texts and that organizations must have individuals’ specific authorization. Digitonomy couldn’t demonstrate it had legitimate consent, which is a rupture of the law used to control electronic marketing.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement stated:

“Businesses that rely on direct marketing must be able to confirm that people have given their permission to receive text messages and to comply with the law they must have the evidence to prove it.

“Depending on the word of another company is simply not acceptable and is not an excuse. Digitonomy is paying a hefty price for not meeting its responsibilities.

“We say it over again – any business that has instigated a marketing campaign is responsible for the information involved. Businesses need to get it right or we will take action.”