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The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR) regulate marketing by phone, fax, email, text or any other form of ‘electronic mail’. The PECR give individuals specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications.

PECR sits alongside the GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 which can all apply to the University's marketing practices.

There are different rules for marketing to individuals and marketing to companies. Generally, when marketing to companies the rules are not as strict but in many instances personal data will be a consideration and all three pieces of legislation may apply.

Direct marketing will always require explicit consent of the individuals i.e. an opt-in box (which is not pre-ticked, and should be an action signifying agreement).

The consent provided by the individual must be specific, informed and freely given. It can be withdrawn at any time and there should be a means of documenting if an individual has ‘opted out’.

The privacy legislation applies whenever you are processing personal data – if an individual can be identified, this constitutes their personal data, even if they are acting in a professional capacity. – this identifies the individual as it contains personal data.

For international marketing, bear in mind their local legislation, as this will apply alongside our own.

Be aware of DIRECT MESSAGING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA – the provisions of email marketing rules apply so beware!

Specific consent is required if an email is to be sent directly to an individual’s email address. It is not required if the email is sent to a resource account.

It is highly recommended to have a ‘do not contact’ list for individuals and organisations that have expressed their interest not to be contacted in the future by us. Do not simply delete their details as it could be that a list is brought in at a later date and you do not have the ability to cross-check those who have opted-out and explicitly stated they do not wish to be contacted.

PECR is expected to be repealed and replaced by a new regime in the near future.

The ICO has produced a very helpful Marketing Checklist.

In-depth data protection for marketing training is available for staff responsible for marketing.