You know us. We’re that firm you placed an order with a few months ago. You may remember that at the time we took your order we explained we were going to send occasional marketing emails to you about similar products and services, but you could opt out then, and at any subsequent point.
We know that since 2003 (with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations) (PECR) it’s been unlawful to send unsolicited marketing emails except in circumstances like those above.
We’re contacting you now because we’ve noticed a lot of competitors (and other firms) who are either utterly confused or utterly misrepresenting a new law (separate to PECR) called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). They’re claiming it means they have to contact you to reconfirm your consent to receive marketing emails.
GDPR actually says nothing of the sort. It does explain what “consent” means in data protection terms in a slightly more strict way, but for companies like us, who’ve respected our customers and prospective customers all along, it makes no difference.
In fact, the emails you’re getting from those companies, asking you to “reconsent”, are probably actually direct marketing emails themselves. And if the companies don’t already have your consent to send them they may well be breaking the law in sending them. If you think we’re exaggerating, look at the fine the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) levied on Honda last year.
It all really boils down to treating customers well, and not assuming you can send direct electronic marketing without actually looking at what the law says.
So yes, this is a marketing email, and yes, it is lawful, and yes, it is more than a little pompous.”
The views in this post (and indeed all posts on this blog) are my personal ones, and do not represent the views of any organisation I am involved with.