Germany Issues Guidelines On Email Marketing Under GDPR

New guidelines have been in issued in Germany that could influence how brands conduct direct marketing by email and other channels. 

The guidelines were released last month by the German Conference of DPAs (the DSK), according to an article in JD Supra.

While non-binding, they have been adopted by federal and state data authorities, and seem to recognize that some uses of data for direct marketing can be deemed use for legitimate interests.

According to JA Supra, the guidelines cover the following points:

Existing customers/clients — The principles of consent and data protection under GDPR do not prevail if an email addresses has been collected “directly from the data subjects in the context of a contractual relationship (existing customers).”

However, an electronic declaration of consent requires a double opt-in. 



New purposes —  Marketers must observe GDPR’s Art 6 (4) regarding change of purpose if personal data is to be used “for advertising purposes that was not originally collected (also) for advertising purposes.”

Data controllers must conduct a compatibility check “unless consent has been given for the change of the purpose.”

Business cards — These constitute a valid consent when left by individuals at trade fairs or other events. 

Postal Addresses —  Collecting postal address data from third parties and processing it for direct-marketing purposes is precluded by GDP.

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