The Information Commissioner’s Office has successfully prosecuted Grove Pension Solutions Ltd who were responsible for sending out 1,942,010 spam emails all of which promoted their core pension services. Unusually, however, was the detail of the outcome. Grove Pension Solutions had in fact engaged with a privacy consultant and lawyers before embarking on this marketing campaign.
The ICO argued the case was unusual but the fine proportional:
“Spam email uses people’s personal data unlawfully, filling up their inboxes and promoting products and services which they don’t necessarily want.
We acknowledge that Grove Pension Solutions Ltd took steps to check that their marketing activity was within the law, but received misleading advice. However, ultimately, they are responsible for ensuring they comply with the law and they were in breach of it.
The ICO is here to provide businesses with guidance about electronic marketing and data protection, free of charge. The company could have contacted us and avoided this fine.”
The moral of the story – make sure your marketing campaign is kosher by approaching specialist data protection lawyers and marketing professionals and also reach out to the ICO who provide advice and support to marketers looking to utilise direct mail marketing systems legally!