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Almost 1/3 of UK companies are not complying with the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications more than 2 years after it became law in the UK according to a new survey
The survey was conducted by CDMS, data and marketing specialists. This Europe-wide legislation, which governs email communications with private individuals, demands that companies only send unsolicited sales messages via email to non-customers if they have actively opted-in to receiving them.
In practice, this means that whenever someone's details are recorded - for instance as part of a money-off promotion or a competition - they must be asked whether they want to receive subsequent sales marketing e-messages from that company or any other third party. The legislation makes it crystal clear that simply offering someone the opportunity to opt-out of receiving unsolicited emails (or indeed pre-ticking an opt-in box) does not comply with the Directive.
Having conducted a similar exercise in 2005, the CDMS study once again examined compliance amongst the top 200 companies across twelve main consumer business sectors -
* General Insurance
* Credit Card
* Building Societies
* Fixed and Mobile Telecoms
* FMCG, Utilities and Travel
Companies in each sector were tested to see whether they consistently offered non-customers the opportunity to actively opt-in/consent to further marketing emails when their details were recorded as the result of a promotion or enquiry. These promotions appeared either on the company's own web site, through a partner company's website, in a third party e-newsletter, or as part of an advertising or direct mail campaign.
On average, 69% of companies studied are now compliant with the legislation, a very modest improvement of some three percentage points since 2005, despite the law having been in operation for almost three years.
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