A lead generation firm that made more than a million unsolicited automated marketing calls offering to write off people’s debts has been fined £120,000.  Oxygen Ltd played a recorded message to each recipient saying it was a government awareness call offering to write off debt. 

Following 214 complaints from the public, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) discovered that the company had made more than one million automated calls without people’s consent during April 2015.  Oxygen was responsible for the marketing campaign but used another company to make the calls.

Prior to 6 April 2015, the ICO had a greater burden of proof in that a company must be shown to have caused “substantial damage or substantial distress” in making nuisance calls. However, following the change in law, the ICO now only has to prove that the company was in serious breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.