NEWS11 February 2019

Market researcher banned over unsolicited marketing calls

News Privacy UK

UK – The director of market research and polling company The Lead Experts has received a six-year ban from The Insolvency Service for allowing the company to make unsolicited marketing calls.

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Aaron Stalberg, the company’s sole director, has been banned for six years from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.

Following complaints of automated calls, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) established that the company made over 115,000 automated marketing calls to members of the public between 4th and 5th May 2016, breaching regulations on privacy and electronic communications.

The ICO issued The Lead Experts with a fine of £70,000 in October 2018 for making automated calls to people without their consent and failing to include a company name and contact details in the recorded message. The company did not lodge an appeal or pay the penalty, leading the ICO to refer the case to the Insolvency Service.

The secretary of state accepted a disqualification undertaking – the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order without involving court proceedings – from Stalberg on 16th January 2019, after he did not dispute that he failed to ensure the company complied with direct marketing regulations.

David Brooks, chief investigator for the Insolvency Service, said: “Despite the company protesting they had made only a small number of calls, investigations by the ICO confirmed that they had made more than 100,000 unsolicited calls, amounting to a serious breach of the regulations and people’s privacy.

“This ban reflects the seriousness of these actions and we will continue to work with our partners at the ICO to take firm action against those whose conduct falls below accepted commercial standards.”