Legal Updates - Data Protection & Unwanted Marketing Calls

Data Protection – Direct Marketing – Unwanted Calls – Information Commissioner’s Office – Cold Calling – Monetary Penalty


The Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) served Manchester company, Tameside Energy Services Ltd (“Tameside”), with a monetary penalty of £45,000 for unwanted marketing calls to the public.


Tameside offers energy efficiency improvements to customers. The ICO reported that, between 26 May 2011 and 31 January 2013, the ICO and the Telephone Preference Service (“TPS”) received more than 1,000 complaints relating to Tameside.


The ICO reported that Tameside failed to remove people from their contact lists and also failed to perform adequate checks to see whether the people it was calling had registered with TPS, which the company is legally required to do under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.


21.—(1) A person shall neither use, nor instigate the use of, a public electronic communications service for the purposes of making unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes where—

(b)the number allocated to a subscriber in respect of the called line is one listed in the register kept under regulation 26.


The ICO also issued Tameside with an enforcement notice. The enforcement notice requires Tameside to stop calling people who have registered with TPS, as well as those who have notified Tameside that they do not wish to be contacted.


The ICO’s Director of Operations, Simon Entwisle, made clear that the ICO will not take kindly to unwanted marketing calls, by stating: Were it not for the company’s poor financial position, this monetary penalty would have been £90,000.”


More information about unwanted marketing calls can be found on the ICO’s website.


For any advice and assistance in relation to data protection, you may contact us by email Visit


© RT COOPERS, 2013. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.


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