The Privacy Commission recently updated its recommendation n°4/2009 on direct marketing with a new recommendation (n°02/2013), in order to align its views with recent changes in the legal landscape.
In its recommendation n°02/2013, the Privacy Commission further highlights some of the initiatives taken by the Belgian Direct Marketing Association (BDMA), a platform gathering, promoting and defending the interests of over 450 companies active in direct marketing (users, consultants, media and service providers).
The most remarkable initiative is the replacement of the so-called ‘Robinson list’ with the ‘Do-not-call-me-anymore list’ (“Bel-me-niet-meer lijst”), which was launched in August last year. The initiative provides consumers with the possibility to subscribe to a list – for a period of two years – in the event they do no longer want to be contacted for direct marketing purposes. This implies that, where a direct marketing campaign is organized, the list with customers/prospects to be contacted must be compared with the Do-not-call-me-anymore list so as to ensure there is no concordance. Important to note is that compliance with the initiative is mandatory for any company sending direct marketing – whereas compliance with the Robinson list was only required for members of the BDMA. Where direct marketing campaigns are carried out in violation of the above, sanctions may be imposed by – inter alia – the Federal Public Service Economics. It should be noted that the list does not apply where marketing is sent in a B-2-B context, nor when direct marketing is sent by fax or delivered door-to-door.