ICO issues new guidelines for direct marketers

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new guidance on direct marketing, according to a new report.

The 44 page guidance document laid out a series of directives that businesses must follow in order to remain compliant with data protection law, thelawyer.com has reported.

One such guideline was that organisations needed to obtain ‘extremely clear and specific consent’ from individuals in order to conduct direct marketing campaigns.

The report also stated that consent of one channel did not legitimise activity on another. For example, if a customer consents to email marketing, this does not necessarily mean that the company is able to proceed with SMS marketing.

“The person must specifically consent to the type of communication in question,” said the documentation.

“In other words, organisations cannot make an automated call unless the person has consented to receiving automated calls, cannot send a text unless they have consented to receive texts, and so on.

According to out-law.com, the ICO also addressed the timeframe in which consent was applicable. The watchdog said that consent which was clearly intended to cover a specific period of time, will not count as consent for future marketing messages.

The guidance is the latest in a series of actions, as authorities attempt to clamp down on data protection issues.