Direct marketing communications

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05 March 2008

The ASA has upheld a complaint regarding a newsletter which ING Direct sent to customers who had specifically opted out of receiving direct marketing communications. ING produced two copies of the newsletter, one for customers who had opted in, and one for those who had opted out. ING argued that the second version did not include any promotional offers. 

The ASA ruled that the newsletter was likely to be viewed by recipients as a marketing communication, as it promoted certain ING Direct financial products. This shows the difficulty in persuading customers who originally opted out to change their position and opt back in. It is clear that such communications must not themselves include promotional material, but it is not entirely clear  whether a communication with no such additional promotional material will be acceptable.

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