After significant delays in moving towards a final text for the Regulation, the EU Commission issued an update on 12 June 2018 following policy debates on 8th June and it would appear that further changes have been proposed.
Currently a large proportion of B2B marketing is carried out on a soft opt-in basis. This is where the email address has been obtained through the sale (or negotiation for the sale) of a product or service, the individual was told that their email address would be used for unrequested marketing and was given the chance to opt-out at the time of collection, the marketing relates to similar products and services, and each email gives the recipient the chance to opt-out. The draft Regulation indicates that the EU Commission may seek to bring B2B marketing in line with the requirements for B2C marketing, meaning that the current soft opt-in option will be reversed so that communications can only be sent where the individual has given prior consent.
The updated draft text also allows member states to set a time limit under which organisations may contact individuals for direct marketing purposes. The DMA is continuing to argue against these changes which could cause significant issues for businesses.
It is now anticipated that the Regulations will be passed towards the end of 2018 or Spring of 2019 with one year for implementation.
What actions can I take now?
It’s important to document what marketing your business undertakes, your legal basis for the processing and how you obtain contact details. If you don’t rely on consent, then you may want to start to consider what implications the Regulations will have on your business if they are passed in the current format.
Start to talk to your website provider about the options around cookies now BUT don’t make any major changes until the Regulations are finalised.
Watch this space! With 3-6 months to go before the Regulation is passed it’s inevitable that further amendments will be made. If you need any help in the meantime, then get in touch. An initial chat with one of our associates is always free.