ICO launches direct marketing consultation

The regulator has released draft guidance urging charities to ensure they comply with legislation around the electronic storage of data such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Joe Lepper | 10th Jan 20

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published draft guidance to help charities comply with regulation around their use of data in direct marketing.

Its draft direct marketing code of practice is aimed at ensuring charities are compliant with regulation including the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Data Protection Act 2018 and 2003’s Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations.

This draft code aims to build on previous direct marketing guidance and offer a “practical life-cycle approach to direct marketing”, said the ICO.

It added: “It starts with a section looking at the definition of direct marketing to help organisations decide if the code applies to them, before moving on to cover areas such as planning marketing, collecting data, delivering marketing messages and individuals rights.”

The draft code also signposts other resources around using electronic communications around direct marking. This includes information supplied by Ofcom and the Fundraising Regulator.

Online consultation

The code is out for consultation until 4 March and a final version will be released later this year. This is available online for charities to respond to.

“Processing personal data for direct marketing purposes is carried out by the vast majority of organisations,” said the ICO.

“Businesses from sole traders through to large corporations as well as the public sector, charities, political parties and other not-for-profit organisations all use direct marketing as a tool to grow their business or publicise their causes and aims.

“However all organisations have an obligation to ensure their direct marketing activities comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, Data Protection Act 2018 and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003. The draft code aims to help those undertaking direct marketing to comply.”