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Cookie law: Many marketers “still in the dark about what constitutes consent”

22 May 2012 10:27 BST Back
Cookie law: Many marketers “still in the dark about what constitutes consent”
DMA News

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Nearly half (47%) of UK marketers say that they aren’t confident their efforts to gain consumer consent to place cookies on their devices will meet the new requirements of the ePrivacy Directive, new research has revealed.

The conclusion comes from a survey of more than 150 of the UK’s top marketing agencies conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and DataGuidance, a global data protection and privacy service. According to the study’s authors, with just four days to go until the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces the so-called Cookie law the shortcoming should be a serious cause for concern.

“The question is not so much the definition of a cookie, but clarity on consumer consent. To comply with the law, marketers need to provide clear, transparent information to consumers so that they can make an informed choice to accept cookies from websites and digital communications”, says Lindsay Grieg, managing editor of DataGuidance.

Caroline Roberts, director of legal and public affairs for the DMA, adds:

“The DMA has issued considerable free guidance on how to achieve this, so it’s down to marketers to learn how to work within the new legal framework. Failing to do so will lose customers, lose sales and ultimately leave them on the wrong side of the law.”

The research also highlights the fact that many marketers are underprepared ahead of the enforcement of the Cookie law on 26 May. Nearly three in five (57%) of marketers have so far failed to develop and execute an action plan to deal with the impact of the Cookie law; 45% have yet to draft an updated cookie policy; and 79% have not communicated the changes they are planning to make to their website’s visitors.

The financial impact on the marketing industry will be also dramatic, with 67% of respondents saying the new law will cost them up to £10,000, 17% estimating that it will cost them up to £25,000, and 13% put the figure of compliance at up to £100,000.

The DMA has recently published how-to guides on managing cookies for websites and mobile and email marketing, which can be downloaded for free from the DMA’s website.

Tristan Garrick, DMA PR manager
Tel 020 7291 3315

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