Marketers now face prison if they persistently ignore the wishes of consumers who do not wish to be contacted for marketing purposes.

Subscribers to the Telephone Preference Service and potentially the Mailing Preference Service will have more legal protection against unwanted marketing, when the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading (CPUT) regulations 2008 comes into force on May 28th.

The CPUT regulations include 31 banned practices considered unfair including “making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, email or other remote media except in circumstances and to the extent justified to enforce a contractual obligation”.

Breaching these banned practices will constitute a criminal offence and carries a maximum fine of £5,000 or a two-year jail term.

Janine Paterson, legal and public affairs advisor at the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), said: “Companies persistently calling numbers registered on the scheme have got away lightly.

“Now they could face prison if they continually call numbers against the consumer’s wishes – the DMA welcomes this new legislation.”

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