This summer, the European Parliament is to vote upon proposed reforms to Data Protection Legislation that will directly affect ALL UK BUSINESSES INCLUDING YOURS!!!

Here are the proposed changes in a nutshell:

  • All “one-to-one” contact with customers and prospects must be expressly permitted, i.e. targeted online ads, direct mail and cold sales calls will not be allowed without explicit permission.
  • The proposals seek to reclassify internet users’ IP addresses as private information and inaccessible to marketers, leaving your analytics tools with only the most basic of information.
  • Your business would no longer be allowed to target marketing at specific consumer profiles. It would also be prohibited to gather individuals’ data without their explicit consent, making it hugely difficult to tailor customers experience of your brand or process. This also looks set to undermine your ability to learn, innovate and grow using the depth of insight that data currently offers.
  • Individuals are set be given the right to request the complete deletion of their data from your company’s records. Whilst well-intentioned in theory, this would be a logistical nightmare in practice and one that’s set to cost your company money to administer.
  • This huge overhaul of data protection is likely to mean new costs for businesses. You might need to create new data systems, your staff will need to be retrained and your legacy customer databases could become unusable. Compliance records will need to be kept and it is likely that there will be more requests by individuals for copies of their personal data.

These changes would clearly have an effect upon all UK businesses. For companies that use Direct Marketing within their sales strategies, it would become impossible to undertake to all but their own existing customers. This would not only severely stifle growth opportunities to all UK businesses, but it would also bring about the collapse of the entire Direct Marketing industry…….overnight.

According to the DMA (Direct Marketing Association), 23% of UK sales are generated by direct marketing “ and “Total UK expenditure on direct marketing stood at £14.2 billion in 2011”. Based on these figures, “direct marketing accounted for £700 billion worth of sales out of a total of £3 trillion in 2011.” Furthermore, it is estimated that “The draft regulation in its current form could cost UK businesses an estimated £47 billion in lost sales and additional regulatory costs” and up to 530,000 jobs, comprising £375,000 workers directly employed and 155,000 indirectly employed, for example by Royal Mail and call centres.”

We need to take action to raise awareness of this matter urgently and hopefully block these reform proposals from being implemented. As many people as possible need to be made aware and the issue needs to be elevated in Parliament. This is where I’m pleading with you for your help….

Please, I ask anybody and everybody to contact their local MP and MEP to raise their concerns about this proposed legislation amendment AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Please also ask your family, friends and colleagues to join in – post something on Facebook, share and like on Facebook, tweet, Google+, LinkedIn and spread the word – the power of the people has worked before and hopefully it can work again.

The following website: makes contacting your MP / MEP very quick and simple. By entering your postcode, this website will bring up a list of your local MPs & MEPs. All you then have to do is click you MP / MEP and you can send your email from there.

You can create your own message if you wish, or we have created a tailored message that you can use by copying and pasting the wording at the foot of this blog.

Thank you sincerely for your help.

Dear Sir / Madam

In summer 2013, the European Union intends to reform Data Protection Legislation. If approved, these reforms would threaten ½ million jobs and cost the UK economy almost £50 billion.

The changes to Legislation would restrict businesses’ ability to market their wares so much that the entire Direct Marketing industry, worth £700 billion to the UK economy, would collapse overnight. Costs to UK Businesses would be significant to the point of destruction of many.

As I’m sure you will agree, this can’t be allowed to happen and I urge you to do all you can to raise the profile of this potential catastrophe and block the EU’s plans.

Yours faithfully

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