Consent and direct marketing

In Xerpla Ltd v. Information Commissioner [2018] UKFTT 2017_0262 (GRC) (14 August 2018), an English General Regulatory Tribunal has overturned a fine, issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) against the direct marketing company, Xerpla Ltd, after the ICO determined that Xerpla had failed to obtain the necessary consents for electronic communications to its subscribers.

The ICO fined Xerpla £50,000 in October 2017 for sending 1.26 million marketing emails to its subscribers, which, according to the ICO, breached the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive Regulations 2003) (PECR). Central to PECR is that any direct marketing emails to subscribers must only be sent with the prior consent of the email recipient.

The tribunal found that Xerpla’s subscribers had “consented to, and knew they were consenting to, the direct marketing of third party offers for all kind of products and services… That is why they subscribed…” It was therefore considered obvious what was being consented to, given the services offered by Xerpla.

Continue Reading First tribunal case overturning an ICO fine for sending marketing emails without opt-in consent