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GDPR & Marketing

There has been a lot of misinformation provided in relation to marketing and the GDPR.

It is very important for businesses to understand their obligations in relation to marketing third parties to:

a) avoid unlawful marketing for which they could be fined
b) to make sure they are maximising their database potential.

As a starting point, your business will need to work out what type of marketing it is to carry out e.g. postal, email or phone as it will impact on what you can and can’t do.

You will need to work out whether consent is needed for the type of marketing you wish to carry out or whether you can rely on the legitimate interest ground. On this point – although the emphasis has been on consent in the public’s perception of marketing, this is not always the necessary legal basis in which to market somebody. Although it is correct to say that to email consumers you require consent, when it comes to business to business marketing via an employee’s email address, we can look to legitimate interests which allow for a certain degree of flexibility.

However, care needs to be taken with this approach, as you cannot rely on the legitimate interest ground when email marketing sole traders; whom are considered to be individuals for the purposes of data protection legislation. Therefore you will need their consent if you are email marketing them.

Whilst it is a complicated subject, you need to be completely sure on who to market, and how to market them as the penalties for getting it wrong are eye watering. We therefore recommend taking advice on in relation to marketing and marketing strategies with our Data Protection Team.

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