Areas of Conservative Party telephone marketing campaign "crossed the line", says Information Commissioner’s Office

Written by Liam Kirkaldy and Emilio Casalicchio on 25 October 2017 in News

But the ICO has stopped short of imposing a formal punishment on the party because “the overall campaign was genuine market research”

Image credit: PA

Areas of the Conservative Party’s telephone marketing campaign in the run up to the snap general election “crossed the line from legitimate market research to unlawful direct marketing”, according to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

The watchdog launched an investigation after a Channel 4 investigation uncovered evidence suggesting the work conducted by a market research firm employed by the Tories went beyond data collection and into campaigning.

But the ICO has stopped short of imposing a formal punishment on the party because “the overall campaign was genuine market research”.


RELATED CONTENT


In his verdict, head of Enforcement at the ICO Steve Eckersley said two paragraphs discussing the policy choices of Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn “fell outside the bounds” of market research.

He said: “We’ve found that two small sections of the written scripts used by those making the calls crossed the line from legitimate market research to unlawful direct marketing.”

“We’ve warned the Conservative Party to get it right next time.”

He added: “We’ve stopped short of formal regulatory action because the overall campaign was genuine market research.

“The two sections we had concerns about were not enough to trigger formal enforcement action when considered along with the campaign as a whole.”

“In addition, the results of the survey were not saved against any individual so they could not be targeted for future marketing.

“But we have been clear about what we expect in the future.”

A separate investigation into the call centre campaigning is being conducted by South Wales police.

A Labour spokesperson told Holyrood’s sister site PoliticsHome: "We can't comment on an ongoing police investigation."

Categories

Related Articles

MPs urge UK Government to provide clarity on how Brexit will affect devolution
19 November 2017

In a new report, the Scottish Affairs Committee urged the UK Government to “take urgent action” to improve the EU Withdrawal Bill

Alex Salmond's new show on RT has put his credibility at risk
19 November 2017

Alex Salmond's reputation rests on the shoulders of the many Scots who invested their dreams in a man who spearheaded going it alone but in the end, found himself in the pocket of Putin

New Cross-Party Group on consumer protection in energy market launched
17 November 2017

Cross-Party Group on Consumer Protection for Home Energy Efficiency established after go-ahead from Scottish Parliament’s Standards Committee

Share this page