The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

Marketing company director who made over 75,500 unsolicited marketing calls banned by the Insolvency Service for six years.

Elia Bols (32) now living in Australia, was director of AMS Marketing Limited, a telephone marketing company incorporated in January 2016.

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS), however, received 71 complaints between October 2016 and October 2017 about AMS Marketing’s unsolicited calls. A further 32 complaints were received by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), who informed Elia Bols that a fine of £100,000 would be issued.

In April 2019, AMS Marketing was wound-up in the courts, with the fine outstanding. Further enquiries by the Official Receiver established that for just over a year between October 2016 and December 2017, Elia Bols’ had caused AMS Marketing to make more than 75,000 unsolicited direct marketing calls to numbers around the UK.

AMS Marketing Limited should have used the TPS list before making such calls to remove the numbers of individuals who had elected not to receive unsolicited contact.

On 28 October 2020, the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Elia Bols after he did not dispute that he had caused his company to breach Regulation 21 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations in making the marketing calls.

Effective from 18 November 2020, Elia Bols is disqualified for 6 years from acting as a director or directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Andy Curry, Head of Investigations at the ICO said:

”Our work with the Insolvency Service has seen the successful disqualification of 17 directors who have shut their business down to try and avoid paying a fine for illegal marketing activity. Nuisance calls, emails and texts can be a huge problem and often cause people real distress. By taking unscrupulous directors out of action, we can help protect the public and their privacy. “

Robert Clarke, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

“Elia Bols had a complete disregard of protective regulations and thanks to the joint work with the ICO, we have secured a ban which reflects the seriousness of this offence.

“When directors of a company do not comply with regulations that are designed to protect the public, we will fully investigate the circumstances and take action where appropriate."

Notes to editors

Elia Bols is from Perth, Australia and his date of birth is April 1988.

He was the director of AMS Marketing Limited (Company number 09967423)

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of restrictions 

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct.