Email marketers And Opta

Opta the end of May 660,000 euro fines handed out in the e-mail marketing industry.Dialogue as a marketer I am also rather not too busy with legal matters, but these fines are enough reason to explore what’s really going on.

In particular, the notion of co-registration is disputed. This is a time of asking permission to obtain the e-mail address for multiple titles, brands or companies. According to the Opta can not. How about this?

Back to the basic
purpose of the Telecommunications Act is to protect consumers. With e-mail marketing is the protection against unsolicited email or spam. The consumer must give permission to be mailed. There must also question of what the industry informed consent is called. The recipient of the e-mail must be informed about the purposes for which the advertiser email address used.

Obtain permission by title or brand
‘s recent strict interpretation of the Opta about co-registration implies that companies with multiple brands carry a title or title / brand must obtain permission. In many cases, recipients of e-mail now have permission to e-mail received from:

  1. The title or brand, such as leaves or brand Conimex Farm
  2. The company or group (and the other titles or brands within the group). In this example, Unilever and Reed Business
  3. Relevant offers from third parties

In interpreting the Opta option 2 and option 3 is impossible. Even if people here have given permission for it.

The current situation and the consumer
in most list brokers and offers advertisers the permission obtained from third parties, so good.You often see texts in the email as “You are receiving this email because you registered with XYZ”. Recipients e-mail to unsubscribe from these e-mailings and thus receive nothing.

However, it can go wrong with some lead generators. Lead Generators recruit many email addresses (leads) with online games and contests. For example, “Join and win an iPhone XXX”. The terms and / or privacy statement of any part of this branch is an almost unlimited freedom stipulated for various commercial activities with the e-mail address is not defined third parties. The question is whether the requirement of informed consent are met. Is it clear enough what consumers can expect? Opta does not think so.

The problem is often for the launch for some mailing lists. After registration an e-mail address in an online game, a game organizer ten such party the right to exploit this email address.One party sends an e-mail and write the consumer himself. Assuming that the enrollment is processed through a good party, that party will no longer be accessed. But still by the parties two to ten.

Informed or not?
Opta states that in a situation as in the example above, the consumer registration information is insufficient. In the case above, I can sympathize with this view. But is the recipient of e-mail in all cases of co-registration were not sufficiently informed? Because there are numerous other situations where it refers to ‘informed consent’.

In the aforementioned examples such as Unilever and Reed Business, the recipients of the email very easy to find out what titles or marks of the companies have stopped feeding. A visit to the home page is often sufficient. That seems to me clear. Some collectors call addresses to obtain the email address of the advertisers they work with. It is also clear to the consumer.

If a consumer gives permission for third party offers, is to show that he was confident that the party to whom he authorizes to make a good assessment of what is relevant. If that trust is not there, he does not need to do to win iPhone. A consumer must of course be aware that others may be given e-mail.

Nuance lacking in the OPTA, indicating that all co-registration in violation of the law mentioned in the introduction, in particular the requirement for informed consent.

What do the experts
in this field phone inquiries of specialist lawyers Alexander Singewald, Jette Sprey and Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm Opta shows that there is a lot to the experts after strict interpretation holds. They consider it unlikely that the privacy of the e-mail recipient is struck so that the rigid position of the Opta justifies.

Simple solution
in my eyes is a simple solution:

  1. Be transparent. Suppose it mandatory that the unlimited possibility to use the e-mail address is not in the privacy statement or the conditions are hidden. And more importantly;
  2. Make sure the receiver is given permission by user, but all at once at the source can withdraw. Where the source of the lead generator / organization that has collected the address. If a consumer can unsubscribe at source for all commercial use of the e-mail, there’s nothing (more) going on.

This will help us reduce impact on the industry, co-registration remains possible. The recipient of the e-mails will be better and may, if he wishes, for all e-mails at once unsubscribe.

The companies have been fined and will object if necessary. on appeal. That is take some time, if any case is expected in early 2012.