Office welcomes latest prosecution for Marketing Offences
05th February 2018
DATA PROTECTION COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE WELCOMES LATEST SUCCESSFUL PROSECUTION OF MARKETING OFFENCES
The Data Protection Commissioner’s office has welcomed the outcome of prosecution proceedings that were taken at Naas District Court today against a publishing company, Guerin Media Limited of Kill, Co. Kildare.
Guerin Media Limited
Guerin Media Limited pleaded guilty to four sample charges out of a total of forty two charges in relation to breaches of the regulations which apply to the sending of unsolicited marketing communications (Regulation 13 of Statutory Instrument 336 of 2011). Three of the sample charges related to the sending of unsolicited marketing emails to three individuals at their workplace email addresses without their consent. The fourth sample charge related to the failure to provide the recipients with a valid address to opt-out of receiving further marketing emails (an unsubscribe function).
In evidence given by Assistant Data Protection Commissioner, Tony Delaney, the court was told that the defendant company had been warned previously in November 2013 and again in March 2016 by the Data Protection Commissioner’s office about sending unsolicited marketing emails without consent and without an unsubscribe function. The court heard that seven individuals had complained about Guerin Media Limited to the Commissioner’s office since 2013.
The Court convicted the company on all four charges and it imposed four fines of €1,000, i.e. a total of €4,000. The company was given six months to pay the fines.
Speaking after today’s proceedings, Mr. Delaney said:
“The fines imposed at today’s court proceedings reflect how seriously the court viewed the offending behaviour that was outlined in evidence. Of particular note was the difficulty that the complainants experienced when trying time and time again to opt-out of receiving further unsolicited marketing communications, thus prompting them to eventually lodge complaints with the Data Protection Commissioner once their own efforts to directly engage with the company failed. The court also paid particular attention to the fact that the company had been warned on two previous occasions following investigations in relation to its email marketing practices on foot of four earlier complaints. Today’s outcome should serve as a reminder to all organisations that are engaged in any form of electronic marketing, such as by email, text message or cold calling, that non-compliance with the regulations may result in a criminal prosecution by the Data Protection Commissioner’s office.
For media related queries, please contact Graham Doyle, Head of Communications, Data Protection Commissioner