Marketing Firm Goes Into Liquidation After ‘Record’ £350,000 ICO Fine

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has handed out a record £350,000 fine to a lead generation firm responsible for 46 million automated calls, but Brighton-based Prodial has responded by going into liquidation.

According to the ICO investigation, Prodial used IP phone lines to make enormous numbers of calls about PPI claims. Recipients were bombarded with nuisance communications and had no way of opting out.

Prodial was based at a residential property and hid its numbers to make it difficult to report the calls. In total, the ICO received 1,000 complaints from people who said they were contacted day and night, with one doctor stating it was interfering with his job because had to answer all calls in case one was an emergency.

Nuisance call fine

“This is one of the worst cases of cold calling we have ever come across. The volume of calls made in just a few months was staggering,” said Information Commissioner Christopher Graham. “This was a company that knew it was breaking the law.

“A company director admitted that once the ICO became involved, the company shut down. That stopped the calls, but we want to send a clear message to other firms that this type of law-breaking will not pay. That is why we have handed out our highest ever fine.”

The ICO says it is working with liquidators to recover the fine, noting that the marketing campaign undertaken by Prodial could be worth as much as £1 million in revenues.

To prevent the inconvience and stress of nuisance calls, the government has proposed that all direct marketing companies should be legally obligated to display their phone numbers when contacting the public.

Telecoms firms including BT and TalkTalk have taken measures to help block and blacklist offending numbers but even operators aren’t entirely innocent. In 2013, Ofcom fined TalkTalk £750,000 for making excessive numbers of nuisance calls to prospective customers in 2011.

What do you know about ICO and its counterparts? Take our quiz!

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

View Comments

  • The real solution is to also make the people/firms responsible for employing the marketing firms legally liable as well.

Recent Posts

Intel ‘Playing Politics’ Over Delayed Ohio Chip Factory, Alleges Governor

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine alleges Intel's Ohio factory delay is a negotiating tactic, despite Pat…

2 hours ago

Steve Jobs Posthumously Awarded US Medal Of Freedom

President Joe Biden has named Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Job, as a posthumous…

3 hours ago

Twitter Seeks Judicial Review Of Indian Takedown Order

Clash continues, Twitter court challenge against Indian government order to remove certain content it deems…

4 hours ago

TikTok ‘Halts E-Commerce Expansion Plans’

TikTok reportedly scraps plans to expand TikTok Shop livestream commerce in Europe and US after…

23 hours ago

European Parliament Passes Landmark Tech Regulations

European Parliament votes to adopt Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act, but campaigners warn…

23 hours ago

Indian Economic Police Raid Offices Of Smartphone Maker Vivo

Indian economic crime agency Enforcement Directorate raids dozens of locations across India belonging to China's…

1 day ago