Thanks to Tim Leighton-Boyce for bringing this to our attention.
John Lewis has been ordered to pay damages for sending "spam" emails in a privacy ruling. In our opinion, John Lewis' method for obtaining the email was on the professional side of normal practice: namely, to email customers who have registered for an account with you, as long as they have not specifically opted out "in the course of a sale or negotiations for the sale of a product or service’.
Still - John Lewis has agreed to abide by the ruling - although it disagrees.
To quote Sky: A spokesperson for John Lewis said the case consisted of a "very specific set of circumstances" and while they disagreed with the judge's decision they would abide by the ruling. The company said in a statement: "Mr Mansfield voluntarily gave us his email address, set up an account online and chose not to opt-out of marketing communications when that option was available to him. We listen carefully to what our customers tell us about how and when we communicate with them and endeavour to do so in a manner that is convenient to them."
John Lewis apologised.
For more background and more detailed analysis - plus some excellent recommendations to make sure you are doing the best you can regarding "compliance" - read Dan Barker's article.