ICO fines grocers Morrisons for sending unwanted emails to customers
ICO fines grocers Morrisons for sending unwanted emails to customers

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has run an investigation and concluded that Morrisons intentionally sent thousands of marketing emails to its card members.

Despite opting out of receiving them, Morrisons More card members received emails related to their More card, according to the ICO's report.

A total of 130,671 emails sent in October and November 2016 with the subject line “Your Account Details” invited customers to change their marketing preferences to start receiving money off coupons, extra More Points and the latest news from Morrisons, according to the ICO.

The ICO ruled that Morrisons broke the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations (PECR) and fined the supermarket chain £10,500.

In a statement, ICO deputy commissioner Simon Entwisle said, “It is vital that the public can trust companies to respect their wishes when it comes to how their personal information is used for marketing.

“These customers had explicitly told Morrisons they didn't want marketing emails about their More card. Morrisons ignored their decision and for that we've taken action.”

A spokesperson for Morrisons said, “We did this with the best of intentions and we're disappointed that this was deemed to be ‘marketing material'.”

The fine marks a difficult week for Morrisons. On Friday, investments in various British supermarkets plummeted in response to news that Amazon was buying Whole Foods.

Earlier this year, the ICO fined Honda and Flybe for emailing customers who opted out of receiving marketing emails.