Direct marketing
Direct marketing

The following IP guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Direct marketing
  • What is direct marketing?
  • Regulatory regime overview
  • GDPR overview
  • PECR 2003 overview
  • Postal and other non-electronic marketing
  • Telephone marketing (live calls)
  • Automated calls
  • Email, text and social media messaging
  • Viral marketing and refer-a-friend
  • more

This Practice Note analyses the legal and commercial issues arising out of direct marketing activities. It covers the following:

  1. What is direct marketing?

  2. Regulatory regime overview

  3. GDPR overview

  4. PECR 2003 overview

  5. Postal and other non-electronic marketing

  6. Telephone marketing (live calls)

  7. Automated calls

  8. Email, text and social media messaging

  9. Viral marketing and refer-a-friend

  10. Online marketing

  11. Lead generation and marketing lists

  12. Information requirements for direct marketing

  13. Other legislation relevant to direct marketing

  14. Self-regulatory codes

  15. International

In relation to the data protection aspects of direct marketing, this Practice Note is based on the law under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which became directly applicable on 25 May 2018.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR 2003) are due to be replaced by a new EU ePrivacy Regulation although it is not yet known when it will come into force. For more information on the ePrivacy Regulation, see: PECR 2003 overview below. For updates on its progress through the EU legislative process, see Practice Note: ePrivacy Regulation—timeline.

For flowcharts covering the primary direct marketing channels, see:

  1. GDPR compliance—direct marketing decision tree—email and other electronic marketing

  2. GDPR compliance—direct marketing decision tree—live telephone calls

  3. GDPR compliance—direct marketing decision tree—postal

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a draft direct marketing code of practice for public consultation. The code, which is a requirement of the Data Protection Act