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ICO rebukes marketers for 4.5m spam texts

Hundreds of complaints prompted regulator to take action.

By Jimmy Nicholls

The marketing firm Sweet Media has received an order from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to stop sending nuisance texts after hundreds of people complained.

The rebuke follows a raid on a SIM card farm in Wolverhampton last May, which lead to an investigation that proved the company had sent 4.5 million texts in eight months.

Andy Curry, enforcement manager at the ICO, said: "There’s no excuse for nuisance texts. Bombarding people’s phones with unwanted marketing messages is against the law. Thanks to this enforcement notice there should be one less company annoying people.

"This action is a direct result of complaints to our office, and our raid on their Wolverhampton offices is a clear example of our comprehensive work to tackle spam texts and nuisance calls."

Almost 800 people reported the firm to the ICO for texts about debt management, payday loans, pension reviews, mortgage mis-selling, gambling and credit cards.

The order comes after a similar raid on a business centre in Hove thought responsible for making millions of nuisance calls, as well an investigation into payday lenders Yes Card and Fone Funds in connection to text spam.

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