FUD Marketing*: How not to sell Burglar Alarms

For the Register, Alexander J Martin describes a nasty example of marketing through fear strangely reminiscent of support scams, though it was burglar alarms that were being marketed here, not security software.

Telemarketers hit with £70,000 fine for cold-calling pensioners

The Information Commissioner’s Office reported that Direct Security Marketing Ltd, a company based in Dudley, ‘made nearly 40,000 automated calls, with 9,775 being made between 1am and 6am.’

While the title of Martin’s article suggests that pensioners were specifically targeted, the article quotes ICO Group Enforcement Officer Andy Curry as saying that ‘Elderly people were among those who were left distressed after being woken up in the night by the automated calls’, so there’s no indication in the article that the calls were targeted (or, if they were, how).

On YouTube, Andy Curry talks about ‘the action the ICO took against automated calls by Direct Security Marketing and what action can be taken by people to block similar calls.’ Even if you weren’t bothered by this particular nuisance (happily, it seems the company is quietly sinking into the West…) you might find the step through some of the minutiae of the Data Protection Act useful.

* FUD: Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt. FUD Marketing: a sales pitch characterized by disinformation and the exploitation of insecurity and negative emotions.

David Harley

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