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Nouveau Finance Ltd fined £70,000 by the ICO for 92 complaints.

 Article added: 07/11/2016

Ninety Two (92) complaints, that’s all it took to land Nouveau Finance Ltd in hot water with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for spamming.

Although the fine related to spam texts, it could just as easily have been email or automated voice messages. The law applies in exactly the same way.

Nouveau Finance Ltd

Nouveau Finance Ltd sent around 2.2 million illegal marketing text messages over a six month period advertising a loan matching service to generate loan leads.

The 92 complaints prompted an investigation by the ICO which uncovered that Nouveau Finance Ltd had sent out over two million messages without consent.

Vince Costa-Barnett, TPS Services said:

“This is not the first and it won’t be the last case of its kind I am sure. Across the UK companies are breaching the Privacy Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) every day and many so in complete ignorance.

I understand that many of these companies do not deliberately intend to breach PECR, but as detailed in this particular case, that’s not a good enough excuse.

Companies undertaking marketing by Email, Voice or Text would be wise to read up on the ICO’s Guidance to Direct Marketing. It’s not a bad read as official documents go and there are plenty of examples in there to help people understand what is and what is not acceptable as regards electronic marketing.”

Nouveau Finance Ltd is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and contracted a marketing services company to carry out the six-month-long text campaign, but failed to check that this company had complied with PECR. Despite the supplier’s assertions that the data was opted-in, the ICO ruled that people had not given permission to receive the messages and the company didn’t identify who they were from. All of these failings broke the law.

Steve Eckersley, the ICO’s Head of Enforcement said:

“Relying on another company to do your marketing is not a get-out clause when it comes to the law. If your business has instigated a campaign, you are responsible and it’s up to you to make sure it meets the requirements of some very strict regulations.

Our investigation found that despite relying heavily on direct marketing for its business, the company did not seem to understand the rules around electronic marketing and that’s not good enough.”

Nouveau Finance Ltd Monetary Penalty Notice as issued by the ICO

It’s against the law for a business to send text, email or automated voice messages to people when they haven’t given specific consent to receive them. Alongside the fine, the ICO has also issued an enforcement notice ordering the company to stop sending unlawful texts in the future. If the company does not comply with the notice, it could face court action.

Mr Eckersley said:

“The law is there for a reason, it’s to stop companies inundating people with unwanted messages. Nouveau Finance Ltd neglected its responsibilities and that’s why they received the fine and were told to halt the campaign.”

The Government recently announced its plans to introduce personal fines for company directors heading up nuisance marketing firms. The new law should be in place by next spring. Our recent article, Directors to be personally fined for nuisance calls, gives more details.

Steve Eckersley - ICO head of enforcemen
Steve Eckersley ICO head of enforcement
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