// Halfords hit with £30,000 fine for sending nearly 500,000 unwanted marketing emails
// Electronic marketing rules mean companies cannot send emails or messages to people unless they have consented to it
Halfords has been fined £30,000 for sending nearly 500,000 unwanted marketing emails.
The bike retailer received complaints for sending out emails about a government voucher scheme that gave people £50 off repairing a bike.
Halfords aimed to promote free bike assessments therefore advertising its own services, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found.
Subscribe to Retail Gazette for free
Sign up here to get the latest news straight into your inbox each morning
The ICO found in its investigation that hundreds of thousands of unsolicited marketing emails were a breach of electronic marketing rules.
ICO head of investigations, Andy Curry said: “It is against the law to send marketing emails or texts to people without their permission.
“Not only this, it is a violation of their privacy rights as well as being frustrating and downright annoying.
“Halfords are a household name and we expect companies like them to know and act better.
“This incident does not reflect well on the internal advice or processes and therefore a fine was warranted in this case.
“This also sends a message to similar organisations to review their electronic marketing operations, and that we will take necessary action if they break the law.”
Electronic marketing rules mean companies cannot send emails or messages to people unless they have consented to it or they are an existing customer who has bought a product in the past.