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There are actually specific laws that deal with email marketing, specifically The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. These state that it is illegal to send unsolicited emails to individual subscribers, although it is possible to send them to corporate subscribers as long as there is a relevant working relationship in place. Violation of these rules can result in a fine. You may be receiving such unsolicited emails yourself but that does not mean it is allowed - many companies still ignore these rules, whether deliberately or unintentionally, however I would not suggest you join that list, or of you do - then do so at your own risk.
A very good practice note on these laws can be found here for further reading:
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