This case is about:

  • unwanted marketing mail;
  • the right to prevent processing for direct marketing purposes; and
  • the Mailing Preference Service.

Mrs W wanted a charity to stop sending her marketing mail asking for donations.

She wrote to the charity, enclosing copies of the unwanted mail, and asked them to stop sending it to her. However the charity sent more marketing mail, so Mrs W contacted us.

We advised Mrs W to write to the charity to ask why they were still sending marketing material to her and explain to them that under the Data Protection Act people have the right to ask organisations not to use their name and address for marketing purposes.

We also advised Mrs W to register her details with the Mailing Preference Service, which keeps a list of people who do not want to receive directly addressed marketing mail. Although organisations are not legally obliged to check with the Mailing Preference Service before sending marketing material, most do.

The charity contacted Mrs W and explained that they were very sorry for upsetting and inconveniencing her. They explained that after she had first contacted them, they had suppressed her details from their mailing list, which should have solved the problem. However, they had then bought a new mailing list and hadn’t noticed that her name was on it until she wrote to them again.

The charity confirmed that they would suppress the names of customers who had asked not to be contacted from future lists.