Survey reveals UK companies are breaching email marketing rules

Mon 27th of September 2010, filed under Internet News

Ignoring best practice

Independent internet watchdog Spam Ratings has accused several UK companies of spamming consumers. The agency's recent survey of the UK's top 100 online brands revealed that 51 were sending emails to customers who had expressly stated that they did not want to receive email communication.

The study also revealed that 56 per cent of emails sent by these companies were not asked for, and that 44 of the selected brands automatically opted-in customers, with a box that needed to be unticked during registration.

Companies acting in this way are breaching email marketing best practice guidelines issued by the Direct Marketing Association and the Information Commissioner's Office. Spam Ratings accused the Arcadia group, which includes Topshop, Topman, Miss Selfridge and Burton, of being the worst offender. Other brands criticised included Aldi, Boots and British Airways.

Spamming is ineffective

Spam Ratings is a London-based company that runs independent research and analytics on UK companies. It offers a trust mark for websites it finds to be spam-free, which make consumers 92 per cent more likely to register with a website. The company caused controversy earlier this year when it exposed Asda for bad email practice and spamming. Asda has since reviewed its email policy.

Spam Ratings co-founder Andy Yates stated: "Trusted brands are making a big mistake by not acting responsibly, openly and fairly with customers. Businesses spend millions building brands and then seem intent on destroying them by sending millions of useless, unwanted emails".

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