back to article Papa don't breach: UK data watchdog fines that other pizza place £10,000 over unsolicited marketing blitz

Pizza takeaway and delivery outfit Papa John's has been fined £10,000 by the UK's data watchdog for sending marketing fluff to punters without their say-so. Following a year-long investigation, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) found that the company had sent 168,022 "nuisance marketing messages to its customers …

  1. macjules

    "Papa don't breach"


    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Re: "Papa don't breach"

      Johns in Trouble Deep (Dish).

  2. Ramis101

    Fined 10 Grand?

    I'm sure the person that got spammed nearly a hundred times is completely satisfied with this outcome.

    It should have been a grand/recorded or reported spam, 10k is just small change.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      Re: Fined 10 Grand?

      About 10p per infraction seems to be the ICO rule.

      Woefully inadequate, 10p per transaction is not a penalty, it's an ongoing business cost and far cheaper than sending out mailings.

      The fine for this sort of thing should be at least the current rate for a 1st class stamp per infraction.

  3. Warm Braw

    Our intention was to reach only those potentially interested in our offers

    I guess the golden rule of marketing is "first delude yourself"...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Our intention was to reach only those potentially interested in our offers

      Exactly. Since by definition, everyone is *potentially* interested in the offers. Whether they actually are or not is a different question, usually answered by making sure the recipients of the offers have opted in.

    2. simonlb Silver badge

      Re: Our intention was to reach only those potentially interested in our offers

      I had the misfortune to have to eat one of their pizzas once...

      It was honestly the worst pizza I've ever tasted. Absolute garbage.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Our intention was to reach only those potentially interested in our offers

        Have you been to CiCi's? Never did PJ myself, but just wow. Afterwards, I remarked to my wife, "After this, I could go for some pizza."

        1. Joe Drunk

          Re: Our intention was to reach only those potentially interested in our offers

          If you want real pizza you don't get it from a chain restaurant, you get it at an independently owned family run place. You can even watch as they toss it in the air and spin the pizza dough into shape, add your toppings and put it in the oven. Chain places are the equivalent of frozen pizza with some added toppings.

  4. ThatOne Silver badge

    Business as usual


    Spam generously, if caught emit some canned statement about the well-being of your victims customers being very important for your digestion, pay a small fine, and life goes on.

    Even the most stupid marketing critter has realized by now that, even at an 1:10000 success ratio, spam is a cheap and efficient way to catch a few additional customers.

  5. Sam Therapy

    Someone really should start Uncle Enzo's Pizzas

    "We'll make you a pizza you can't refuse"

  6. Tim Hines

    Time to join the Pizza Resistance. . .

  7. BenDwire Silver badge

    Meanwhile, back in Meatspace ...

    My local Papa John joint spams me with real dead-tree advertising roughly twice a week on average. Why they feel the need to do this on such a regular schedule absolutely baffles me. I've even taken to putting the paper recycling bin by the front door, but I can't tempt the delivery wonks (usualy Royal Mail) to ditch them straight in there.

    There must be a gag linking "Meatspace", "Spam" and "recycling" but I'm still sober ...

    1. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, back in Meatspace ...

      The worst is, they pay a company to get the stuff printed, who then contract Royal Mail to deliver it who are legally obliged/required to stuff it in your slot.

      A postie got into big trouble when he objected to having to shove what's clearly not wanted by some on his rounds into their mailboxes, and then resorted to keeping that stuff (as per his customers' wishes) and chucking it into recycling at work.

      Either way, don't get upset with the postie, they truly are just doing their jobs as they are required to by law. :-/

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, back in Meatspace ...

      " I can't tempt the delivery wonks (usualy Royal Mail) to ditch them straight in there."

      Yes you can:

      Unlike every other optout in existance, royal mail output expires after 18 months. The ICO has been unable to adequately explain why this is legal (the words "regulatory capture" spring to mind)

  8. Colin Bull 1

    Other options ...

    I had a spam telephone call today from a company promoting covid business claims. As I am on TPS I have registered a complaint with TPS.

    But interestingly the company is a trading arm of a company of solicitors. As calling numbers registered on TPS is illegal I have also registered a complaint with the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Wait with interest what their action wiil be.

    As an aside, anyone any idea if a small claims court action will be worthwhile for the time take to record a TPS complaint, as they would also have to pay the court fee which is a worthwhile penalty.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other options ...

      I like your determination to extract vengeance for being disturbed :D

    2. Cynical Pie

      Re: Other options ...

      Not strictly true, you can call numbers registered on TPS but only if you have an existing legitimate business relationship (ie the owner of the number has been/is a customer) and they haven't directly exercised their right to opt out with you.

      That said best practice is to still screen against the TPS and avoid using no's on the list.

      Companies are also allowed to legitimately contact TPS registered no's to ask if the user still wishes not to receive marketing but again best practice is to assume a lack of response means 'no'

  9. Shalghar Bronze badge

    Suggestion for a kickstarter ?

    How about a truly intelligent snail mail receptable, scanning whats entered and automatically redirecting any kind of advertisements into a bin, optional shredder included for those in need of cat litter ?

    Might be commercially viable. My approach with the typical german "no adverts or newspapers" sticker did not work, the "protection by law" proven again to be at its usual efficiency. An added speech chip, saying the same text loudly whenever the lid was opened also had no success in suppressing snail mail spam.

    My second experiment with a dedicated postbox "for advertisments and newspapers only" while the real post box got a sticker with "real post only" also failed.

    Hightech to the rescue. If someone can make a lego brick sorting machine with a raspberry, sorting out snail mail spam should be possible.

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