London, UK (PRWEB UK) 14 December 2013
The wake up call is given by law and marketing guru Ardi Kolah, author of the best-selling Essential Law for Marketers and chairman of the influential Law & Marketing Committee for a London livery company that represents the sales and marketing interests of the UK’s leading brand owners and marketing agencies.
Recently, the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office signalled changes that marketers must implement now within business to consumer (B2C) marketing in order to stay within the law and these include:
"If this wasn’t bad enough, marketers face a ‘double legal whammy’ as on the horizon is another set of restrictive rules and regulations that look like becoming law across all 28 Member States of the European Union.
“With the politicisation of business taking grip of MEPs ahead of the European Elections in May 2014, the result looks likely to be even more red tape with potentially damaging consequences for millions of businesses and organisations that depend on DM,” predicts Kolah.
The concern for marketers is that changes to procedures and the cost of compliance may well be prohibitively expensive and tip companies over the edge.
These Regulations will have to implemented by all EU Member States that will be mandatory and without taking account of sales and marketing conduct currently within those territories.
Looking just beyond May 2014, it’s likely UK marketers will need to change their DM activities to ensure:
In the UK, the Direct Marketing Association(DMA) has been lobbying hard to ensure that EU legislators as well as the Information Commissioner’s Office are aware of the enormous costs that compliance with these and other measures will entail as well as the risk to jobs should companies cease to be able to trade as a result of these Regulations.
“Renewals and win-back strategies where a customer has cancelled a subscription to a service, for example, are likely to be almost impossible to conduct in their current form, causing many businesses to lose vital incremental sales as a result,” observes Jenny Moseley, one of the leading direct marketing practitioners in the UK and an advisor to many companies that are fearful that the proposed Regulations could effectively put them out of business.
The assumption that the customer has absolutely no interest in sharing personal information with any legitimate business that wants to sell relevant goods and services will become the ‘new norm’.
What concerns many marketers is that these wide-scale changes are politically motivated within Europe and clearly don’t take account of the practical consequences on businesses and jobs that will be affected should these measures become law.
Nor do these proposed measures add very much extra protection to consumers that’s already been introduced here in the UK.
Cowboys will still be cowboys and legitimate businesses will suffer as European legislators are set to pass laws that fail to take account of local market conditions or are less onerous for legitimate business interests.
“DM practice across Europe is already subject to some of the toughest data protection and privacy laws in the world. But new laws being proposed within the EU will create an imbalance in the way the law currently operates, making DM almost impossible without the provision of information and proof of consent irrespective that many in the industry regard as impractical and unworkable,” concludes Kolah.