Festival Fined Over $100,000 For Spam Text Messages
The UK-based festival Parklife might be regretting their most recent marketing campaign, as they are now being slapped with a £70,000 fine (about $110,000 USD) by the Information Commissioner's Office.
In preparation for the event earlier this year, Parklife organizers sent out a promotional text under the contact of "Mum" that alerted festival-goers of impending ticket sellouts for after-parties. One thing these organizers apparently failed to recognize in their brainstorming efforts is that not everyone attending the festival had a mother to receive texts from, and it caused quite a lot of heartbreak and distress amongst its attendees.
The ICO recceived 76 complaints as a result of the splash-text, and a handful of its appalled recipients recalled their experience from the insensitive campaign. 19-year-old Ros Prior, who lost her mother three years earlier to a multiple sclerosis, said she burst into tears after receiving the text. She notes, "My phone went off and I clicked to read it. It said, ‘New message from mum’ and my heart stopped. Even though it was only two seconds of sheer panic, it was horrible because I just saw mum. You just think, ‘Oh my god, is she still alive?'"
Surprisingly enough, Parklife even made a joke about the onslaught of complaints, tweeting "So this is what it feels like to be a jar of Marmite #LoveItOrHateIt." Soon after, the event recanted and apologized for their campaign and has cooperated with the ICO for their investigation into the complaints.
[H/T: DJ Mag Canada]