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Direct marketing rules and exceptions under the GDPR

Direct marketing includes SMS and emails that a customer receives from a product or service provider.

As a general rule for direct marketing, the company needs a consent from a customer. However, there are several exceptions when it’s allowed to send the emails to the customers without asking for a consent.

Please note that the representative can be contacted for direct marketing purposes for business related products or services through electronic mail without their prior consent but only in the context of the position they hold. Therefore, there are additional exceptions for B2B direct marketing rules.

 

Newsletters and direct marketing to the customer

Service notifications

Profiled direct marketing

Providing similar products or services in the context of a customer relationship

ExplanationRegular newsletters or messages (cold emails). The company receives electronic contact details of the customer in connection with the sale of the product or the provision of the service. Welfare notifications. Customer behaviour patterns (based on purchase history) are used for targeted messages. The company receives electronic contact details of the customer in connection with the sale of the product or the provision of the service. Contact information for direct sales of similar products or services to the customer may be used.
Basis of data processing

Consent or clear declaration of will, for example, entering an email on the company’s website in the newsletter field or click at tickbox. Must be able to get out of direct marketing.

Opt-in and Opt-out

 Legitimate interest to send notices- you can rely on legitimate interests for marketing activities. However, in case you have to show that you use people’s data proportionately. Meaning, it has a minimal privacy impact, and people would not be likely to object.

Opt-out

 Consent, e.g. acceptance of personal data processing. The right to object at any time to the processing of personal data. The information shall be provided clearly and separately from any other information.

Opt-in and Opt-out

 The previous sale of a product or service. During the initial collection of data, and whenever the data is used, the customer has a clear and understandable way to prohibit the use of such contact information in a free and easy way.

Opt-out

Legal provisionsDirective 2002/58/EU article 13 section 1 GDPR preamble 47; GDPR article 6 (f) GDPR article 21 section 2Directive 2002/58/EU article 13 section 2
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