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Despite all the publicity generated by the introduction of GDPR, there is still a lot of confusion over the rules for direct marketing in the UK. This short guide aims to dispel a few myths and clarify what marketers can and cannot do in the post-GDPR UK.

Business-to-business marketing: the marketing of business services or business products to people at work.

Emails
You can send promotional emails to corporate email addresses. This includes personal corporate email addresses e.g. John.Smith@BigCompany.co.uk. You do not need consent or opt-ins to be able to do this. You should offer a way for individuals to opt out of receiving further emails from you. If an individual opts out you should not contact that person again.

Post
You can send promotional mail to individuals at companies and other corporate bodies. Individual employees can opt out of receiving mail from you.

Telemarketing
You can make live sales and marketing calls to companies that have not registered their phone number on the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS). You can check whether a number is registered on the CTPS for free here https://www.electricmarketing.co.uk/ctpschecker/

You must have specific consent to make marketing calls about claims management services. You need specific consent to make recorded marketing calls to any phone number.

Consumer marketing: the marketing of products and services to people in their homes or on personal numbers or to personal email addresses. This also applies to marketing to sole traders and partnerships.

Emails
You must have specific consent to send promotional emails to personal email addresses. However you may send emails about similar products to your previous customers as long as they have been given the chance to opt out.

Post
You can send promotional mail to people in their homes as long as the names and addresses have been obtained fairly. Individuals can opt out of receiving mail from you.

Telemarketing
You can make live sales and marketing calls to numbers that have not been registered with the Telephone Preference Service. People can opt out of receiving calls from you. You must have specific consent to make marketing calls about claims management services or pension schemes. You need specific consent to make recorded marketing calls to any phone number.

Texts
You must have specific consent to send promotional texts to personal numbers. However you may send texts about similar products to your previous customers as long as they have been given the chance to opt out.

The Information Commissioner’s Office is responsible for the regulation of data protection, freedom of information and privacy and electronic communications in the UK. The ICO’s guide to direct marketing can be seen here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/marketing/

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Economy Energy, a gas and electricity supplier with about 235,000 domestic customers, has ceased to trade. It is the ninth small energy supplier to collapse in the last year. Ofgem will choose a new supplier to take on Economy Energy’s customers and the energy supply of Economy Energy’s customers will continue as normal. The failure of Economy Energy follows that of Extra Energy, Future Energy, Gen4U, Iresa Energy, National Gas and Power, One Select, Spark Energy, and Usio Energy.

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The Entertainer has made its first European acquisition with a deal for Spanish toy shop chain Poly. The deal provides The Entertainer with a platform for its Addo product range and other key brands. Poly has 57 outlets and employs over 350 staff.

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Acquisitive Irish videogames specialist Keywords Studios has completed a £3.45m deal for Sunny Side Up Creative. The Canadian firm works on marketing assets for game publishers and developers such as game trailers, key art assets and motion graphic production. Sunny Side Up’s services will complement the trailer and marketing services provided by Keywords’ existing studios Fire Without Smoke and Trailerfarm.

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Bertram Group has bought Education Umbrella, a supplier of books and digital learning resources to schools. The deal is Bertram’s first since it was acquired by Aurelius and rebranded from Connect Books in 2018.

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Pro audio specialist RCF Group has announced a deal for DPA Microphones. Based in Denmark, DPA is a brand of high-end professional audio equipment. It owns the distributor Sound Network in the UK.

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Croda International has acquired the Danish drug development company Brenntag Biosector for €72m (£65m). Founded in 1939, Biosector specialises in adjuvants for the human and veterinary vaccine market.

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SQW Group, the parent company of SQW Consulting and Oxford Innovation, has completed a management buyout with backing from HSBC. A specialist in economic and social policy, innovation management and SME expansion, the group has offices in Edinburgh, London and Oxford and employs more than 250 people.

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Manchester Airports Group has strengthened its airport services division with the acquisition of SkyParkSecure for an undisclosed sum. SkyParkSecure is a price comparison website specialising in booking parking options across 28 UK airports.

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