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Data Protection in the Marketing Department

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Let’s assume that the Muster Ltd is planning a technical presentation which is also intended to serve promotional purposes. The Muster Ltd would like to invite potential customers as well as existing business partners to this lecture.

In order to draw attention to the event, invitations are sent out in advance. The Muster Ltd is faced with a choice:

Should it send the invitations by e-mail or by post?

Even the invitation has some pitfalls in store,

which is why the communication channel should be carefully considered beforehand.

Invitations to business partners or customers to a company event or party fall under the broad concept of advertising. This is because even an informational events can constitute a business act that serves to promote sales.

The invitation can therefore constitute unacceptable nuisance and thus be subject to a fine under Section 7 Act against Unfair Competition (UWG).

If you want to be on the safe side, invitations should be sent by post, because this is generally possible without consent, unless the recipient is listed on a publicly accessible “black list“. The Robinson list, which can be viewed at any time, is common for the B2C sector.

Before sending an invitation by e-mail, consent must be obtained using the double opt-in procedure. Under the conditions of Section 7 para. 3 UWG, consent may not be required for existing customers if

  • an entrepreneur has received the customer’s electronic mail address in connection with the sale of a good or service,
  • the trader uses the address for direct marketing of his own similar goods or services,
  • the customer has not objected to the use, and
  • the customer is clearly informed at the time of collection of the address and at each use that he/she may object to the use at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic rates.