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Legislation and Best Practise

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We have received questions as to the legality of whether one business may contact another by email for marketing purposes. The UK government provides the following advice in great detail. Here is a document prepared by the Information Commissioners’ Office for the 'Guidance for marketers on the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003' by clicking here. A short summary of this question is taken from the document below:-

Business to Business Emails

How do the Regulations apply to business-to-business marketing by electronic mail?

Your obligations are as follows:

You must not conceal your identity when you send, or instigate the sending of, a marketing message by electronic mail to anyone (including corporate subscribers); and you must provide a valid address to which the recipient (including corporate subscribers) can send an opt-out request (Regulation 23 refers).

Only individual subscribers have an enforceable right of opt-out under these Regulations. This is where that individual withdraws the consent that they previously gave to receiving marketing by electronic mail (that consent only being valid ‘for the time being ‘(Regulation 22(2) refers)). Corporate subscribers do not have this right.

Although recipients who are corporate subscribers do not have an enforceable opt-out right under the Regulations, where the sending of marketing material to the employee of a company includes processing their personal data (that is, the marketer knows the name of the person they are contacting), that individual has a fundamental and enforceable right under DPA Section 11 to request that a company stops sending them marketing material (See Data Protection Act 1998: Legal Guidance, paragraph 4.3).

(This information was taken from Commissioners’ Office for the 'Guidance for marketers on the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003' - to read this document, click here.)

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