Credit broker fined by ICO

15th February 2017

Credit broker Digitonomy Ltd has been fined £120,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for being responsible for millions of marketing texts sent without proper consent.

Between April 2015 and February 2016 there were 1,464 complaints about the spam messages which encouraged people to apply for loans and directed them to company websites.  An ICO investigation revealed the Chester-based business used affiliate marketing companies to send out over five million messages offering cash loans as part of a marketing campaign. Digitonomy provided examples of the consent wording from the affiliate companies including: “You consent to us and our trusted partners contacting you by SMS, mail, email, telephone and automated message.”

The law says this type of consent is not enough for sending marketing text messages and that companies must have people’s specific permission. Digitonomy couldn’t prove it had proper consent, which is a breach of the law used to control electronic marketing.

Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement said: “Businesses that rely on direct marketing must be able to confirm that people have given their permission to receive text messages and to comply with the law they must have the evidence to prove it. Depending on the word of another company is simply not acceptable and is not an excuse. Digitonomy is paying a hefty price for not meeting its responsibilities.