Regulation and ethical aspects of direct marketing

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Regulation and Ethical Aspects of Direct Marketing

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to highlight the rapid growth of the possibilities to use direct marketing thanks to the development of new communication media, and also to show the need to regulate these activities. I also explained the function of the lists of Robinson, and I described the importance of a direct marketing agencies andtheir impact on its regulation in the world, as well as in Slovakia, where I focused on the Direct Marketing Association (ADiMa). Keywords: Direct marketing. Regulation. List of Robinson. Direct Marketing Association. Spam. International Federation of Direct Marketing Associations.

1. Introduction
In the last decades, the volume of direct marketing realized through traditional channel such aspost or phone, grow quickly. However, due to the development of new communications media in recent years, the fastest growth was belonged to the direct marketing realized precisely through these new technologies, such as mobile phones, fax, e-mail or social networks, thanks to them the communication becomes easier, cheaper and faster. But the growth of direct marketing also raises fears from the partof consumers who are bombarded from all sides with unsolicited phone calls or e-mails, which disturb their right to privacy. Business entities should respect matters such as protection of personal data, or the right of the consumers to oppose this activities. As a consequence, in recent years, increased regulatory requirements of direct marketing activities implemented without being requestedfrom the part of the consumer. This regulation should be applied to direct marketing in various communications media, for example, the prohibition or limitation of unsolicited phone calls, e-mails or post mails, and also should provide to consumers the opportunity to oppose to this activities.

2. Regulation of Electronic Mail
The control of unsolicited electronic mail ("spam") in Slovakia isregulated by the Law about advertising, as well as by the Law about electronic communications. In one part of the law about advertising is stated that the advertising cannot be distributed through "automated phone calling system, fax and electronic mail without prior consent of their user who is the recipient of the advertisement."[1] This provision shows that unsolicited e-mail is prohibited. Thismeans that if the consumer does not express prior agreement with that marketing activity, it cannot be delivered. So by the law is established that the company can send e-mail that relates to direct marketing only if the consumer has chosen the possibility "opt-in", that means prior agreement with the sending those information (also known the "opt-out" - e-mail can be sent to the consumers untilthey requests the prohibition of these activities). However, in practice we find that the "spam" is one of the experiences of each consumer who is a user of electronic mail. This shows that the possibility of recovery is truly low. This regulation (both opt-in or opt-out) should be also applied to communication by telephone, sms or mms. But just as in the case of electronic mail, the respecting ofthe rules is an exception.

3. List of Robinson
"Robinson" in this case is someone who does not wish to receive e-mails or phone calls of marketing nature. List of Robinson is a list of people who do not wish to receive any unsolicited marketing information, and this prohibition is applied to post mail, e-mail, sms, fax, and phone calls. Anyone can register on the list for free, only has toidentify by which way he does not want to receive unsolicited information and offers, that means through which channel does not wish to be addressing (whether the prohibition applies to phones, e-mail, post mail, or if he does not wish to receive unsolicited information from any possible ways). These lists can be generated in one country, associating marketing agencies and other businesses that...
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