Getting tough on nuisance calls will win votes but action needs to be measured

Within Labour and Conservative HQ the quest for the ‘silver bullet’ policy that will send the former back to office and the latter to majority Government will intensify in the coming months. 

Russell Parsons

Labour believes it has its line in the cost of living crisis and freeze on energy prices while the Tories will be looking to hone their economic growth message.

However, I can save party strategies the time and effort right now.  There is one sure-fire way of shoring up an election victory right. Tackling the scourge of the nation, in particular the voting nation – nuisance callers.

I admit, I exaggerate its important as an issue, but not by that much. A conversation with a friend the other day was interrupted three times by silent calls and subsequent apoplexy on his part. A recent discourse with a family member was littered with expletives describing the perpetrators.  Both are voters and I’d wager their problems are typical.  

Politicians know this. They are inundated with complaints during their constituency surgeries and in their parliamentary inboxes. 

This explains moves in the past week by both MPs and Government. Firstly, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey told Marketing Week the Government will launch a consultation into making nuisance call regulations easier to enforce and is changing rules around consent for direct marketing later this month. This in the same week the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Nuisance Calls, chaired by Liberal Democrat MP Mike Crockart, made 16 strongly worded recommendations to tackle rogue practitionersThese two developments come ahead of the unveiling of a separate Parliamentary Select Committee report on nuisance calls will also be unveiled this month.

It appears that all parties of all political persuasions want to get in on the act and take action to demonstrate to their constituents they are taking potential voters’ concerns seriously.

Quite right.  The ultimate response needs to be measured, however. The problem is the companies flouting the rules – ignoring the wishes of those registered on the Telephone Preference Service, for example – or those poorly targeting prospects and adopting aggressive sales techniques.

The rush to get tough and perhaps win votes should not spill to draconic, prescriptive rules on consent or a ban in all but name. 

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here