The firm has used email marketing to update its customer base on special offers and deals running throughout its 956 pub chain, but it insists email marketing is simply “too intrusive” for its customers.
The company has said it will now concentrate its marketing efforts online, by releasing news stories on its website and through its Facebook and Twitter feeds.
The move has sparked accusations that the firm never gained the right permissions when it originally built the database, and that it has decided to pull the plug before it gets caught out.
It follows the Information Commissioner issuing fines for Morrisons, Honda and Flybe, which had attempted to repermission their customer data.
Last week, Morrison got off with little more than a slap on the wrist for contacting members of its loyalty club who had opted out of marketing. It was fined just £10,500.
In March, Flybe was fined £70,000 after sending more than 3.3 million emails; Honda was hit for £13,000 after it sent 289,790 emails.
All three firms were found in breach of the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR). There is also the not insignificant matter of the looming EU General Data Protection Regulation, which could spark fines of up to 4% of a company’s global turnover for breaches of the law.
Industry observers claim that Wetherspoons was simply not be willing to take that risk.
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