The UK has their data regulator looking into as many as 400 companies, many of which are online gambling sites, concerning their text marketing efforts, which may be considered spam. The Information Commissioner’s Office has sent out specific requests to these companies requiring that they explain their marketing efforts, and how they were using the personal data of their customers.
In the UK, firms that violate the laws related to using customer data and spamming can be fined up to 500,000 Pounds.
David Clancy with the agency said, “Companies must comply with the law when using people’s personal information. Not knowing the law or trying to pass the buck to another company in the chain is no excuse. The public expect firms to be accountable for how they obtain and use personal data when marketing by phone, e-mail, or text. Fail to be accountable and you could be breaking the law, risking ICO enforcement action and the future of your business.”
Text marketing has always been a difficult option to do successfully. It is a fine line to walk between sending out information that customers want, and that which will seem spammy and undesired. Affiliate marketers have always tried to walk that line, and in this case it looks like they may have crossed it (at least in the eyes of the UK).