The bosses of lead-generation firms Lad Media and The Lead Experts have been slapped with four and six-year bans on forming companies respectively after they fell foul of direct marketing laws.

Aaron Frederick Stalberg, the 27-year-old former director of The Lead Experts, was banned after his business was found to have made more than 115,000 automated marketing calls to people who hadn’t consented to receive them.

The UK’s data protection watchdog issued the biz – which initially denied using automated dialling – a £70,000 fine for the nuisance calls in October 2017.

However, the firm didn’t pay up or appeal the fine so the Information Commissioner’s Office handed the case to the Insolvency Service, which last month slapped a six-year ban on Stalberg.

“Despite the company protesting they had made only a small number of calls, investigations by the ICO confirmed that they had made more than 100,000 unsolicited calls, amounting to

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