GDPR: Email marketing is changing

Supermarket giant, Morrisons, is the latest household name that has been subject to fines due to breaking email marketing laws. The company has been fined over £10,000 for sending thousands of marketing emails to customers who said they didn’t want them. Consumers have long been protected with email marketing legislation, however, B2B marketers will now have to be more careful too.

By Laura England, account executive, Stone Junction.

In compliance with new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules, both B2B and B2C marketers must now be able to prove that all recipients on email marketing lists have agreed to be contacted with marketing materials via email.

Earlier this summer, Honda and Flybe were fined for attempting to find loopholes in the law. Ironically, Flybe sent more than 3.3 million emails asking customers to update their marketing preferences to allow them to send marketing emails to their address. You could argue that the e-mails were sent to ensure their customer data was held in compliance with the new GDPR ruling, but in doing so, Flybe broke the regulation.

“The company deliberately contacted people who had already opted out of e-mails from them,” explained Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the Information Commissioners Office. “Businesses must understand that they can’t break one law to get ready for another.”

With some high-profile businesses facing fines, many smaller organisations that use e-mail marketing are becoming much more cautious. If you use e-mail as part of your marketing efforts, or you were planning on exploring the practice, get in touch with the experts at Stone Junction to ensure you are not breaking any laws.

Picture credit: Markus Spiske

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Richard Stone is the MD of the balanced technical, technology and engineering public relations consultancy Stone Junction. They are small, but perfectly formed. Ring up and ask why on +44 (0) 1785 225416 or e-mail

Posted in Editor's Picks, Marketing, Public Relations
One comment on “GDPR: Email marketing is changing
  1. Jim Rothwell says:

    Interesting article, Laura and Richard: thank you. I imagine the proposed Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulation currently in the pipeline at a European level will only serve to make things even more “interesting” for contacting prospective customers, setting as it will, if adopted, an opt-in requirement on e-mail marketing as the default position. At present, I know the European Institutions are aiming for the proposed Regulation to come into force simultaneously with the GDPR next May (by when the content of the latter measure should have been transposed into the Data Protection Bill, as outlined in the Queen’s Speech last week), even if that seems like a rather ambitious timescale for MEPs and all the other interested parties to sign off on it. Either way: “All change!”

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