Report Finds UK Retailers Guilty of Email Marketing Without Customer Consent

A report by Spam Ratings, which surveyed the emails sent by 100 top UK retailers over six months, has revealed that 51% of UK brands breach email good-practice guidelines by sending large volumes of emails that users hadn't agreed to receive.

Major household names found to be the worst for sending unrequested emails included B&Q, PC World, JD Sports and Woolworths. A further 13 major brands, including British Airways and Boots, were shown to directly contradict good-practice guidelines by automatically opting-in users to receive third-party emails. In total, only one in three UK brands demonstrated email marketing best-practice by not sending emails that customers haven't specifically requested.

Co-founder of Spam Ratings, Andy Yates, commented, "Trusted brands are making a big mistake by not acting responsibly, openly and fairly with customers. Businesses spend millions building brands and then seem intent on destroying them by sending millions of unwanted emails."

Both the Information Commissioner's Office and the Direct Marketing Association have outlined that the responsibility is on companies to ensure explicit consent has been granted before emails are sent. They also say companies shouldn't provide a pre-ticked opt-in box for consent to send email marketing.

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