back to article Manchester festival marketers fined £70,000 over spam ‘mum’ texts

Organisers of a Manchester music festival have been fined £70,000 after sending unsolicited marketing text messages. The digital junk was sent to 70,000 people who had bought tickets for the 2014 edition of Manchester's annual festival, the Parklife Weekender, and appeared on the recipients’ mobes to have been sent by "Mum …

  1. gnasher729 Silver badge

    I thought "Marmite" means "people love you or hate you", so the term doesn't apply to spammers. People just hate spammers.

  2. cs94njw

    How did the messages appear to be sent by mum? The name would be looked up by the receiver's phone.

    Where people recently lost their mum, I hope they received some of that fine.

    1. Tom Chiverton 1

      Would it. Would it? Really ? Really really ?

      Google how SMSs work :-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I haven't worked out yet how (legitimate) SMS messages from a courier firm advising of my parcel deliveries are being displayed as having come from one of my friends. Most strange.

        1. Alpha Tony

          Is that your old friend 'Dave Fedex' by any change?

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Nah, it's an ex-girlfriend, Dee Aitchel...

            1. Grease Monkey Silver badge

              Probably impossible to "overhaul" SMS in this respect. Remember it would still have to work with the millions of sold phones still out there.

              Actually the facility to send a text with the sender name is important, people want to know who the text comes from rather than just a number. However this requires honesty, which is of course why the ICO has rules which forbid using false names.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Actually it is possible to fake a sender. Very nasty potential for abuse. Especially as any replies can go to the relevant entry in the phone's address book.

      SMS is long overdue for a complete re-do but I don't know how likely that is.

      On a related note: Bill Hick's on Marketing. I don't know if it's just confirmation bias, but I have found the field of marketing attracts some of the least pleasant types of people to be around that I've met. It's all the ones who are really full of themselves and think they're oh-so-cool, despite pretty much everyone outside of their niche group thinking they're arseholes. At least, that's an impression I have formed over the years.

    3. Necronomnomnomicon

      You can send an SMS that appears to come from any name up t12 characters in length

      Most mass-SMS software will allow you to do this as you can use your brand name rather than some random mess of numerics.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    An what is £70K as a percentage of the profits from the festival? Or even as a percentage of their marketing budget? It's probably already down on the balance sheet as "additional publicity costs".

    1. Cliff

      £70k will still sting, badly. Not sure what the tickets cost, but seeing as promoters work on margins of 7-12%, then this could easily be a double-digit profit percentage fine.

  4. frank ly

    This is what happens ....

    .... when you give companies your mobile phone number. After a few similar but less distressing experiences, I don't give my mobile phone number to anyone anymore, unless I feel that I need/want them to call me and I regard it as a 'long term relationship'.

    1. cantankerous swineherd

      Re: This is what happens ....

      don't even give the doctor my mobile number now, I just say it's private. if they get super pushy I give them a number for an unfeature phone stored in a remotely located bunker.

  5. Adolph Clickbait


    Oh the irony.

  6. Jim99

    Spelling "you are" wrong twice in a two sentence message is quite impressive.

    1. getHandle

      Had to re-read your comment I did

      Thought you'd gone all Yoda on me there I did.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      About par for the course for the average PR "professional".

  7. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    apologising for any distress it had caused.

    "apologising for all distress it had caused."


  8. Gannettt

    I hadn't even heard about this festival till I read this, but then I'm pretty sure some of these promoters know exactly what they're doing and that this kind of story will generate buzz.

    As fr SMS advertising, I recently called a local gym (I'm in California) using my mobile. Two minutes after ending the call, I got a text from them, inviting me to accept their promotional text messages. Creepy. At least they gave you the choice to stop them, which I did.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Toothless ICO

    It should have been £70k **PER TEXT**! But once again the long suffering British tax payer is failed be their employees.

  10. Unicornpiss
    Thumb Down

    Let's just face it..

    Any unsolicited text tends to severely annoy, and while SPAM email and even snail mail is bad enough, alerting me that it's arrived on my phone, and possibly using airtime to boot, is just deplorable, as are the snail jizz that perpetuate such tactics.

    Perhaps Pandora and similar that send crap notifications to my phone could take heed.

  11. dan1980


  12. VulcanV5

    Illiterate marketing dip-sticks

    The sent-from-Mum notion is nauseating, the repeated "your" almost as bad, the festival organizer's reaction to the uproar, even worse. Of all the soft jobs anyone can ever have -- aside from being a Lecturer in Media Studies, that is -- then being in "marketing" is it: I haven't encountered merely one moron in "marketing" in recent years but dozens, including one now hired on by a "university" to lecture in "Event Management". The illiterate self-regarding clown(s) responsible for Manchester festival marketing / event management crap should've been fined a further £70k for abuse of the English language and another £70k for intellectual assault. Actually, just stick another zero on that £70k and justice will have been done, or so my Mum (not you're Mum) tells me.

  13. TitterYeNot

    So this is what it feels like to be an utter dickhead #FeelFreeToKickMeUpTheArse

    There. FTFY...

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