Direct marketing phone calls – know your obligations

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Direct marketing phone calls – know your obligations

03 May 2016

New obligations will come into effect on the 16 May 2016, which will require direct marketers to display telephone numbers when making automated or live marketing calls.

Recent government consultation received positive support for the change, which will even affect call centres that are based abroad.

The new obligation means that a person making or instigating a call – hence its application to automated calls – cannot “prevent presentation of the identity of the calling line on the called line” and must present “the identity of a line on which they can be contacted”. This will apply to both solicited and unsolicited live direct marketing telephone calls.

The reasons behind these changes are to make it easier for consumers to refuse and report unwanted marketing calls. They will also assist the Information Commissioner’s Office with investigations and in taking enforcement action against those companies not complying with the rules.
As such, if your company makes any marketing calls (and remember, this does not need to be the main part of your business – it also applies when making sales calls) you must comply with this new requirement from 16 May 2016.

Failure to comply may lead to a fine from the Information Commissioner’s Office of up to £500,000.

Ofcom can also issue a fine of up to £2,000,000 if it considers your activities to be a persistent misuse of an electronic communications network or service.

For more information in respect of this change and any other direct marketing obligations, including data protection requirements and opt-in and opt-out, please contact Nicole Topping in the Commerical team on 0161 832 3434.

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