Money Supermarket fined £80k for email marketing breach

Price comparison website, Money Supermarket, has been fined £80,000 by the ICO for PECR breaches.

They emailed millions of customers who had oped out of marketing messages, about some changes to terms and conditions and privacy notices, but included a section about reconsidering opting out of future marketing messages. Someone complained and the ICO investigated and reached the conclusion that the emails were a breach of PECR as the ‘signing up to marketing’ message was in itself, a marketing message.

The ICO said:

Organisations can’t get around the law by sending direct marketing dressed up as legitimate updates.

When people opt out of direct marketing, organisations must stop sending it, no questions asked, until such time as the consumer gives their consent. They don’t get a chance to persuade people to change their minds.

Emails sent by companies to consumers under the guise of ‘customer service’, checking or seeking their consent, is a circumvention of the rules and is unacceptable. We will continue to take action against companies that choose to ignore the rules.

You can read full details of the investigation on the ICO website along with their blog post about the case.