Government makes it easier to fine nuisance telemarketers

The Government has made it easier for rogue telemarketers to be hit with fines of up to £500,000.

telephone1-product-2014
The Government is reducing the burden of proof required to fine telemarketers

Under the current law the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is required to prove that a company caused ‘substantial damage or substantial distress’ by making marketing calls or texts before action can be taken.

However after a six-week public consultation, the Government is now removing this legal threshold, giving the ICO the power to intervene in more cases. The change will come into effect from 6 April 2015.

In addition, the Government said it will look at introducing measures to hold board level executives responsible for nuisance calls and texts.

The announcement follows a report by a taskforce led by consumer rights group Which? last December. This called for a review of the rules in order to act as a stronger deterrent to rogue companies, noting that four out of five people say they are regularly cold-called at home.

Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey said: “For far too long companies have bombarded people with unwanted marketing calls and texts, and escaped punishment because they did not cause enough harm.

“This change will make it easier for the Information Commissioner’s Office to take action against offenders and send a clear message to others that harassing consumers with nuisance calls or texts is just not on.”

Since January 2012, the ICO has taken enforcement action against nine companies for nuisance calls and text messages, resulting in fines totalling £815,000.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

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

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

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 will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

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

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

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