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U.K. Companies That Defy Spam Legislations

Many U.K. companies are not maintaining compliance with regulations governing the distribution of unsolicited e-mails, says a survey of a direct marketing services vendor.

The data and marketing company CDMS conducted a poll to find that 31% of successfully placed U.K. firms were defying the EU directive regulating privacy and electronic communications, which allows Internet users to exercise right to restrict e-mail adverts and marketing content.

According to this Europe-wide legislation for e-mail communications with private consumers, companies can send unsolicited sales messages only to non-customers subject to their willingness for receiving them. To elaborate, the electronic free campaign records individual e-mailers' details. Under the legislation if the company, which has stored those details, wants to send the subsequent sales marketing e-mails to those contacts it must ask them whether they would like to receive them or not.

Many firms claim that permitting people to regard their e-mails as junk jeopardizes their reputation by naming them 'junk mailers'.

The number of companies that abide by the law has increased from 66% in 2005 to 69% in 2006. In this respect those organizations that do not comply with the law are likely to be regarded as those not caring about their customers, says spokesman Ian Hubbard. Hubbard says non-compliant companies are putting their hard-worked brands at risk by apparently creating the thought among consumers that those companies do not pay attention to legislation constructed to protect privacy of customers. These then label them as junk e-mailers and associate them with spammers. It also raises consumers' concern about the security of their personal information.

Putting their processes in place is thus the urgent need of non-complaint companies so their current risk can be minimized. This is necessary to prevent themselves from being subjects to public complaint or any possible prosecution.

These companies need to go through a major forensic and clean-up job on their marketing databases. This means they must set up an adequate fail-safe consent section for their contact database to make compliance effective. The companies will then have to match it with people's permissions to receive unsolicited e-mails from those particular companies.

Related article: U.S. Businesses Lose $712 Per Worker Due to Spam

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