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Marketers, ignore email opt-outs at your peril!

Posted: 27 Jul 2017

Marketers beware – it may be tempting to treat the 'opt out of email' clause as an obligation you too can opt out of, but as UK price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com Ltd will tell you, it is an expensive mistake to make.

According to MarketingTechNews, Moneysupermarket has been fined a whopping £80,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) because it continued to email customers who had opted out of their email campaigns.

At first glance it seems innocent enough, but the ICO – the UK's regulatory body dedicated to uploading information rights in the public interest – found that over the course of 10 days in 2016, the money saving website sent out more than 7.1 million emails to people who had previously asked not to be contacted with future direct marketing.

The email in question concerned the website's updated terms and conditions, which stated: "We hold an email address for you which means we could be sending you personalised news, products and promotions. You've told us in the past you prefer not to receive these. If you'd like to reconsider, simply click the following link to start receiving our emails."

Now, not only is this an annoyance to consumers and a complete dismissal of their choice, but contacting an individual with future marketing messages once they have opted out is also illegal.

Steve Eckersley, ICO head of enforcement, commented: "When people opt out of direct marketing, organisations must stop sending it, no questions asked, until such time as the consumer gives their consent. We will continue to take action against [those that] choose to ignore the rules."

Given that new GDPR regulations – which centre on consumer consent – are soon to come into fruition next May, the ruling signifies a shift in the UK's attitude and efforts in holding renegade marketers to account.

Indeed, it may be the first of many fines concerning data and as a result, employers are chomping at the bit to find candidates equipped with the skills that will see their company through the tumultuous changes the GDPR will bring about. If you are a candidate already armed with the skills and have an eye for ethical marketing, why not sign up to our job alerts today?

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