Friday, May 20, 2011
Digital Marketing in the UK & Europe recently got slightly more complex with changes in governance & wider legislation - the question is, are you aware of your responsibilities?
Firstly, the independent UK watchdog, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and their Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) Code - As of March 1st 2011, their remit was extended to cover digital/online content for the first time - everything from display, banner, search to good old email.
Essentially what this means is that must be able to back up any claims within their online marketing materials - The (CAP) Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing now applies including rules relating to misleading advertising, social responsibility and the protection of children. The remit applies across all sectors, and all organisations regardless of size.
According to the ASA, nearly two thirds of the complaints they received last year were about online marketing which was previously not covered - the extension of this remit effectively plugs that gap in the regulations. This is a self-regulatory system, so advertisers and marketers alike should be aware of the best practices
More information can be found here:
ASA Online Remit Explained:
Even more recently (May 2011) there was an amendment to the European Commission Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (2003) - with regard to storing user cookies, and the adoption of an "opt-in" policy as standard (previously it only had to be clear that you used cookies, and there had to be a way to opt-out -- now someone has to give their consent). Enforcement of this legislations is overseen by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) in the UK, who also have similar responsibilities under the Data Protection Act (1998). The UK Regulations to implement the new Directive in UK law should come into force in June 2011.
To help marketers understand the implications of this, and change any practices they need in order to adhere to it, the ICO has issued some guidance and the UK DMA provides an excellent summary of what this means:
ICO Practical Advice:
The updated Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations legislation can be found here;
CAN-SPAM & CASL
Permission based email marketing in the US is of course subject to CAN-SPAM (2003), which our team has previously blogged about - Its also worthwhile familiarising yourself with our Compliance tools at:
And also here for the recent changes in the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL)
For international clients, or any clients sending to subscribers outside of the US, these recommendations still apply. CAN-SPAM should always be seen as a bare minimum requirement of good sending practices.
What you need to know
ExactTarget has a strict anti-spam policy which we openly publish , and which also constitutes a part of the contract customers sign with us. We require all customers to adhere to CAN-SPAM, regardless of geographical location - indeed, as our sending machines are all located in the US, this constitutes a legal requirement.
The bottom line is that at ExactTarget we live by the mantra that subscribers rule. If you are honest in your marketing material and honor subscriber preferences, along with their permission for you to contact them, these changes should not concern you too much.
As such ExactTarget is not a provider of legal advice, and any proposed actions falling under the remit of the legislation mentioned here should be thoroughly vetted by a qualified solicitor/attorney before you embark on them.
Jolyon is blogging on behalf of the ExactTarget UK team