Morrisons has escaped with little more than a rap on the knuckles despite deliberately sending nearly 131,000 emails to people who had previously opted out of receiving marketing related to their Morrisons More card.
Having effectively scrapped the original Match & More scheme just 12 months after launch, the supermarket giant revamped the programme in June last year.
Just a few months later, in October and November 2016, Morrisons contacted those who had opted out through an email entitled ‘Your Account Details’. It invited customers to change their marketing preferences to start receiving money off coupons, extra More Points and the ‘latest news’ from Morrisons.
Following an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the retail giant was fined just £10,500 for breaking the Privacy & Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR); breaches of the legislation carry a maximum fine of £500,000.
The regulator gave no reason for the relatively small fine but it is in sharp contrast to action taken against Flybe, which was hit for £70,000 in March for a similar “repermissioning” campaign. At the time, Honda also escaped relatively unscathed with a £13,000 fine.
Deputy commissioner Simon Entwisle said: “It is vital that the public can trust companies to respect their wishes when it comes to how their personal information is used for marketing.
“These customers had explicitly told Morrisons they didn’t want marketing emails about their More card. Morrisons ignored their decision and for that we’ve taken action.”
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