The EU Referendum’s Effect on Direct Marketing
I read a couple of interesting blogs recently regarding the anticipated surge in direct marketing as we lead up to the referendum as to whether or not the UK should stay in or leave the European Union (EU).
An Unfair Situation?
Despite one such blog suggesting the referendum could signal happy days for many data suppliers, given there is likely to be mass marketing to promote the “pro” and “con” camps, there are seemingly unfair rules that apply. For example, the EU, which is undoubtedly going to be pro “Vote Stay”, does not have to abide by laws that place a cap on marketing spend. The “Vote Exit” camp, however, being UK based, will have to abide and thus can expect to be massively outgunned with regard to its marketing activity.
A Warning from the ICO
Notwithstanding the likeliness of a hefty campaign, both sides must abide by laws governing Data Protection and Privacy and in light of the forthcoming marketing assault, the ICO has issued a warning to all concerned that they must abide by the rules. It has stated that any attempts to stray from the path of righteousness will result in action being taken and has even gone so far as to cite action it took during the Scottish Independence vote.
Time Will Tell
As I write this, we remain unclear as to the date of any proposed EU Referendum, so only time will tell as to whether this will become a mega payday for data suppliers. Even if / when the referendum happens, there are no guarantees as to its effect on the UK industry, though you can rest assured that every one of us will, in some way or shape, be canvassed by both camps. Even if you have not given your permission for direct marketing, you can bet your bottom dollar there will be canvassing outside supermarkets, in town centres, shopping malls etc, so there will be no escape.
Regardless the hive of marketing activity, as Data suppliers, our main concern is that those who undertake the direct marketing will heed the ICO’s warning. It matters not to us if any underhand activity clouds the process, more that the industry can be seen to be acting within the boundaries of the law and acting responsibly by respecting people’s wishes. This, we hope, will be upheld not only here in the UK, but by those in Europe as well.