Worried about GDPR?

Then you might be interested to know that on December 12th 2016, the e-Privacy Directive was leaked.

We know. Mind blown.

The directive outlined a significant toughening of the direct marketing landscape in the midst of GDPR. So how does this affect your B2B organization? Here’s what we know:

Opt-in or out?

The directive states that B2B marketing via electronic channels such as email would require a prior opt-in consent. This means that any marketer wanting to email staff members of limited companies, public limited companies, local authorities, other government departments and limited liability partnerships (corporate subscribers) would have to obtain prior opt-in/subscriber consent from individual staff members.

Wait, what?

However, the final version of the Information Commissioners Office’s (ICO) proposal moves away from this position and does not require consent for B2B email marketing to reach corporate subscribers – although as a general rule consent this will still be required for sending electronic marketing to consumers.

Watch out!

This sounds scary, we feel you! But remember, this legislation is still in its infancy, and as we all know, laws are always open to amends and changes.

What does this mean?

Instead of requiring prior opt-in/subscriber consent for B2B electronic marketing to corporate subscribers, there is a provision for member states to ensure that corporate subscriber’s legitimate interests are adequately protected.

This means ensuring that staff members of corporate subscribers are able to easily unsubscribe/opt-out from receiving electronic marketing.

Don’t get caught out!

Currently, rules on the existing customer/soft opt-in exemption for consumers and staff members of sole traders and unincorporated partnerships are repeated in the proposal. Therefore if your data includes anyone like this then double opt in still applies.

What does it mean for B2B?

Some companies may choose to go full force into the double opt-in, while others might choose to relax the rules. There are key marketing bodies working with the ICO to help set realistic guidelines for the B2B arena. Our advice? Start working on a double opt-in database.


It’s not as hard as it looks! A few simple considerations and before you know it you’ll have a qualified and engaged audience to market to – which means better performance!