UK ICO fined E-Commerce company £10,000 for unsolicited marketing emails

04 February 2021

The Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) in the UK issued a penalty notice and a fine of £10,000 for sending 491,995 direct marketing emails for face masks between 23 August 2019 and 7 April 2020 to subscribers without valid consent.

UK ICO fined E-Commerce company £10,000 for unsolicited marketing emails

UK ICO fined E-Commerce company £10,000 for unsolicited marketing emails

Background

SI Ltd, trading as ‘Fun Stickers’, is a company operating an e-commerce site under the name of Stickerexpress.

The Commissioner, via the ICO SPAM reporting facility, identified a complaint regarding unsolicited direct marketing having been sent on 4 May 2020.

The source of its data used for its campaign was stated to be ‘Sales by website stickerexpress.co.uk, Amazon and eBay’.

No evidence of specific consent was provided for SI Ltd’s unsolicited direct marketing.

Of those 491,995 received messages, 276,866 were sent between 20 March 2020 and 7 April 2020 and specifically concerned the advertising of protective face masks.

In this instance, SI Ltd has made no effort to demonstrate that it held valid consent to engage in unsolicited direct marketing.

Consent is required to be “freely given”, and to not be mandated as a term or condition of service.

Consent must also be “specific” as to the type of marketing communication to be received, and the organisation, or specific type of organisation, that will be sending it.

Consent will not be “informed” if individuals do not understand what they are consenting to. Organisations should therefore always ensure that the language used is clear, easy to understand, and not hidden away in a privacy policy or small print. Consent will not be valid if individuals are asked to agree to receive marketing from “similar organisations”, “partners”, “selected third parties” or other similar generic description..

You can find the details at the monetary penalty notice

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