Can I ask a customer who has opted out of marketing to opt back in?

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Published on LexisPSL on 05/07/2017

The following Commercial Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can I ask a customer who has opted out of marketing to opt back in?
  • Introduction
  • Examples of ICO action
  • Flybe
  • Morrisons
  • Honda
  • So what, if anything, can we do to get people opted (back) in?
  • Another option


Organisations have databases of customers and contacts, many of whom will have opted out of marketing contact, or the organisation may not have a record of their marketing preferences at all.

It is tempting for organisations to send an email to, or telephone, the customer or contacts concerned to ask them if they have changed their mind, and to ask them to opt (back) into marketing communications. However, this is likely to lead to enforcement action by the Information Commissioner (ICO). Several organisations have fallen foul of data protection legislation in this area in the past year.

The relevant law is contained in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998) and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, SI 2003/2426 (PECR). For more detail, see Practice Note: Direct marketing.

Examples of ICO action


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