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Does GDPR impact the telemarketing sector?

By Anne Bagnall

You will have noticed that there was a change in marketing practices last month, with thousands of companies emailing to inform you of their updated privacy policies or asking for re-consent to receive their marketing emails.

This was due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a new law that empowers EU citizens – including residents in the UK – to have control over their data, who contacts them and for what purposes.

Talk around GDPR has, over time, moved to how the regulation impacts the ability for us to carry out the telemarketing work that we do. People thought GDPR marked the end of outbound calling, but this is not true. In fact, there are two points in the legislation which show us that telemarketing is not only perfectly acceptable under the GDPR, but a great asset to add to your marketing mix.

Legitimate Interests

Firstly, the law allows for your personal data to be processed under ‘legitimate interests pursued by the data controller’. For example, calling an IT Manager on behalf of a Managed Service Provider is a mutual legitimate interest of both parties.

Rights and Freedoms

The second refers to protecting the ‘interests or fundamental rights and freedoms’ of who you’re contacting. It is highly unlikely that the work we do would ever threaten or undermine these rights and if there was any doubt, we wouldn’t make contact at all.

Does GDPR say anything about telemarketing?

The regulation explicitly sets out the new requirements when it comes to telemarketing, too. Calls cannot be made to:

  • Anyone who has told us they don’t want to receive calls on behalf of our clients
  • Anyone registered on the Telephone Preferences Service (TPS) and its corporate counterpart, CTPS

In short, we are still able to make calls to anyone who has consented to receive them. We can also contact anyone who, as a result of screening against both the TPS and CTPS, hasn’t opted out of telemarketing communications. We always reference this list against our ‘do not call’ lists to ensure complete transparency and that we’re not reaching out to people who don’t want to be contacted.

While GDPR has presented its challenges, telemarketing certainly isn’t hampered by the regulation. In fact, it has allowed businesses to review their communication practices and look to telemarketing with much stronger intrigue because of the transparency required by how we operate.

If you’re considering telemarketing for your business, please don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

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