Every now and again the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issues advice on specific matters. Almost always it has been well worded, easy to read, devoid of too much superfluous information and, most importantly, useful.
The ICO has recently issued a booklet giving guidance on direct marketing. Should I suggest that it is one of their best so far, you might think it is essential reading. It is their best so far.
It abounds in useful advice, much of it practical. For instance, it gives an eleven point check-list of due diligence with regards checking an email marketing list. [Para 167]
For anyone in email marketing who feels that they do not quite fully understand the complexities of consent, and who does, the guidance explains it in simple and, most importantly, accurate language. [Para 53]
For those just starting out in email marketing, not to mention those who just want to build up their current email marketing list, there is a lot of sensible comment on buying-in marketing lists. [Para 164 to 173]
There is also a 17 point direct marketing checklist, accessible via a click-through in the report, which is in simple language yet covers probably all the necessary points. See: http://www.ico.org.uk/for_organisations/guidance_index/~/media/documents/library/Privacy_and_electronic/Practical_application/direct-marketing-checklist.pdf
A really useful feature, and this amongst a plethora of useful features, are shaded boxes which include examples to illustrate specific points. These add clarity by applying the advice to real-world cases.
The advice is in the main an interpretation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR) and the Data Protection Act 1988 (DPA). These two can be a little dry to read, and this from someone whose job used to include reading regulations and law. This guidance goes some way to lightening the load.
From this article you might come to the conclusion that I think anyone engaged in bulk email marketing should take time to read the guidance. And you would be right. Download it and file where it is accessible. The ICO has again come up with advice that everyone in email marketing will find an asset.