• GDPR and how it does not affect Christmas email marketing Dec 20, 2018
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    I know you are not that interested in my problems, not with Christmas coming and not knowing if Brexit is, but getting known as a writer on the GDPR and email marketing has a certain downside this time of the year. I’m being pointed to as the bloke who told the headmistress of my grandchildren’s school there was nothing in the General Data Protection Regulations about filming year three’s Nativity play.

    It wasn’t as if we argued. I said my bit politely to the headmistress, unfortunately in the presence of parents, and I was asked how come I knew so much about the GDPR. I showed her these pages and, with no real surprise, discovered it made no difference. She had contracted a professional to film the event and sell CDs to the parents. She refused to stop a revenue stream, something we can all sympathise with.

    Similar misunderstandings are covered by the ICO, under the dreadful heading; Sleigh-ing the Christmas GDPR myths. I like puns, but even I will admit there are limits. Anyone in email marketing must be aware of which festive indulgencies contravene the GDPR. After all, what about Christmas cards to subscribers?

    Despite what’s on social media, Santa Claus is not in contravention of Article 4 of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 just because he made a list. Farcical perhaps, but no more weird than some of the myths and misdirection corrected by the ICO in a blog. See: https://ico.org.uk/about-the-ico/news-and-events/news-and-blogs/2018/12/sleigh-ing-the-christmas-gdpr-myths/

    For instance, they reassure us that you can contact parents to tell them what stall they will be running at the school Xmas fair. They also mention a town in Germany which recently banned children from the traditional posting of letter to Santa on the town’s Christmas tree. I didn’t believe it either, but it seems it is true. See: https://www.euronews.com/2018/11/21/good-news-gdpr-doesn-t-ban-letters-to-santa

    Whilst I would assume most of us know what is allowed and what is verboten, it is probable that the subscribers to your email marketing lists are confused. Why not visit the ICO’s blog and include the destroyed myths in your next campaign or e-newsletter, so putting your readers’ minds at rest.

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