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Connect Group PLC - Group Privacy Notice

Connect Group PLC is committed to protecting and respecting the privacy of individuals.

This Privacy Notice explains how companies within Connect Group PLC’s group of companies (together, “the Group” or “we” or “our” or “us”) use any personal information that we may collect about you.  

The Group includes (inter alia) each of the following group companies, each of which are registered data users under the Data Protection Act:

  • Smiths News Trading Limited (trading either as ‘Smiths News’ or ‘InStore’)
  • Martin Lavell Limited
  • Bertram Trading Limited
  • Dawson Books Limited
  • Dawson Media Direct Limited
  • The Consortium for Purchasing and Distribution Limited (trading either as ‘The Consortium’ or ‘West Mercia Supplies’)
  • ‘Wordery’, a trading division of Magpie Investments Limited,

together with any other trading subsidiaries or business units of the same, whether incorporated in the United Kingdom or internationally.

This policy (and any other documents referred to in it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us.  Please read the following material carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.


1. What information do we collect?
2. Reasons for collecting personal information
3. Use of your information
4. Sharing your information
5. Recording calls
6. Use of Electronic Cookies
7. Where we store your personal data
8. Changes to our privacy notice
9. How to contact us

1. What information do we collect?

We may collect and process personal information about you when you:

a) register your details for the purpose of entering into a contractual relationship with a company within the Group (“Business Purposes”);
b) register your details on any of the Group websites;
c) submit your details as part of an online enquiry; or
d) contact us by telephone or email for any other reason.

2. Reasons for collecting personal information

The type of information that we collect is limited to that which is necessary.


For online or telephone enquiries, we will generally require basic information such as your name and contact details (telephone number and/or email address) in order to be able to deal with your enquiry.

Telephone calls made to certain telephone numbers within the Group are recorded for training and quality purposes. More information on recorded calls is set out under section 5 (Recording calls) below.

Website Registration

To register online to receive, for example, email alerts or access to certain documentation, we will require certain basic information from you together with confirmation of the alerts or documentation that you wish to receive.

Business Purposes

When you enter into a business relationship with a company or business unit within the Group, the information that we will require will be of a more detailed nature and may include your home and business addresses, contact details and nationality. We will need this information to ensure that we provide the requested products and services to you and for general administrative purposes (e.g. managing your account and obtaining credit checks where appropriate). 

Any contractual relationship we have with you will be governed either by specific business terms and conditions standard to a member of the Group or elsewhere governed within bespoke contractual documentation agreed with our customers. To the extent the former is applicable to you, you can view our standard business terms and conditions for further information on the ways in which we will use personal data provided to us for Business Purposes. Please see:

i) Smiths News’ Terms and Conditions - Click Here
ii) Bertrams’ Terms and Conditions - Click Here
iii) The Consortium’s Terms and Conditions - Click Here
iv) West Mercia Supplies’ Terms and Conditions - Click Here
v) Wordery’s Terms and Conditions - Click Here


We (and our representatives) may hold your personal details for research purposes but in this case we will never make your personal details available to other companies for marketing purposes other than for the marketing of the Group’s products and services where you have requested us to do so.

3. Use of your information

For enquiries and website registration, your personal data will only be used to create a record of your enquiry or registration. We will keep this information for no longer than is necessary.

If you have registered with us for Business Purposes, we may use your information to contact you about other products and services that the Group offers and that we consider may be of use to you.

Additionally, and unless otherwise agreed, in the case where our contractual relationship with you is governed by our standard business terms and conditions (see above), we may also pass your contact details to carefully selected third parties who may contact you about their products and services that may be of interest to you.

To the extent applicable, our business terms and conditions provide further guidance on how we use data obtained as a result of your business relationship with us.

We will only use your information for the purposes stated above and for no other purpose, unless we are required by law to disclose your personal information for any other purpose.

4. Sharing your information (Business Purposes only)

As set out above, information obtained for Business Purposes may be shared within the Group and, where applicable pursuant to our standard business terms and conditions, with carefully selected third parties.   

Should you wish for other Group members and/or our carefully selected third parties not to contact you, you may inform us of this by writing to the Data Protection Officer at the following address:

Connect Group PLC
Rowan House
Cherry Orchard North

Please include your name, address and postcode along with any account number or correspondence reference you may have. 

Please note that writing to us in this manner will not unsubscribe you from receiving email newsletters that you may have signed up to in respect of any member of the Group. If you have registered to receive email newsletters from a member of the Group, you can remove your email address from the list at any time by using the links in the emails that are sent to you.

5. Recording Calls

The Group may record calls for training and quality purposes. Where your call is to be recorded, you will be informed of this at the beginning of the call. We will not use the information that we collect from you for any purposes other than for training and monitoring the quality of the information that we provide you over the telephone.

Call recordings are stored securely and access to such recordings is limited to certain personnel only. Recorded calls will be saved for no longer than is necessary.

6. Use of Electronic Cookies

What are cookies?

A cookie is a small text file on your computer, created by a website to store information about your visit, such as your preferences. Once a cookie is saved on your computer, only the website that created the cookie can read it. Most major websites use cookies.

This website uses both “session” cookies and “persistent” cookies – see explanations below.  Due to the use of persistent cookies, when you first use the website, a pop-up request for your consent will appear. Note – this pop up message will re-appear if you clear your cookies from your browser history.

Session cookies are implemented strictly in order to allow the website to operate during your use of the website.  Once you close your browser, session cookies simply terminate.  This is in contrast to persistent cookies which are stored on your hard disk, but can be removed by deleting them in your web browser.  Note - We may choose to adopt additional persistent cookies on our websites insofar as we believe these provide an enhanced experience for our customers or prospective customers.  If we choose to do so, in accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 and any other such regulations in place, we will communicate such a change in practice and, to the extent required by the Regulations, we will allow you to give/deny your consent before adopting this practice, to the extent applicable.

Why do we use cookies?

Cookies allow our websites to function fully in order to deliver our products and services to you. They may also help us to improve our website and to deliver a better and more personalised service to you.

Information gathered by cookies will, nevertheless, only be used in accordance with the terms of this privacy notice.

How can you reject cookies?

Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue essential session cookies when you log on to our sites to allow them to function fully. Your consent will be sought for all other types of cookies.

You may refuse to accept all types of cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of cookies. However, if you select this setting, certain sections within our websites will not be able to function as expected.

Please note that any advertisers on our website may also use cookies on their websites, over which we have no control.

More information about what cookies are, why they are used, and also how you can reject and delete them, is usually found in your browser’s help section. This is normally accessed by pressing the F1 key.

What cookies does this website use and for what reason?

Type Name Purpose
Essential Cookie JSESSIONID This cookie is essential for navigating around the website. It randomly generates a session ID which acts as a unique identifier for your session, distinguishing your visit from any other visitors that may be using the website at the same time. This cookie expires at the end of the user session.
Google Analytics


These cookies are used to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where visitors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. No personal information is collected in this process. These cookies will expire as follows:_utma - 2 years, _utmb - 30 minutes, _utmc - when user exits browser, _utmt – 10 minutes and _utmz - 6 months.
Twitter Cookie _ga
These cookies are used by Twitter in order to integrate functionality into our website in the form of Twitter feeds and follow buttons. The cookies are used for a variety of purposes including analytics.


7. Where we store your personal data

Given modern working practices as well as the international reach of the Group, the data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area ("EEA"). It may also be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers.

By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing or processing.

We will take all steps reasonably necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

8. Changes to our privacy notice

We keep our privacy policy under regular review; any changes to our privacy notice will be placed on this website. This privacy policy was last updated on 22 April 2014.

9. How to contact us

Should you have any questions, comments or requests about the information that we collect from you or the way in which we will use such information, or indeed wish to make a complaint, please contact the Group Data Protection Officer by telephone on 0845 123 0000 or by writing to:

Connect Group PLC
Rowan House
Cherry Orchard North