Insights UK Data & Marketing Association publishes guide to automatic entries for promotional marketing


On 4 December 2023, the Data & Marketing Association, a trade association for data-driven marketing organisations, published a guide to automatic entries for promotional marketing. An automatic entry campaign is a campaign that takes data as part of the buying process or customer base and automatically enters individuals into a campaign without a secondary entry or data collection form. The paper summarises the relevant rules that would apply under UK GDPR, the Data Protection Act 2018, the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (“PECR“) and the CAP Code. For example, it addresses whether it would be possible to rely on legitimate interests under UK GDPR to use personal data for the automatic entry promotion, and the email direct marketing consent requirements under PECR. In respect of the latter, the guidance points out that it is highly unlikely that businesses would be able to rely on the existing customer exception under PECR for this type of promotion.

The paper also gives examples, with full terms and conditions, of two automatic entry campaigns. The first is a tax year end prize draw on the Moneybox website for any current member who contributed a qualifying amount into an eligible account. The second is a chance to win bikes on the Nectar website for anyone buying a Go Ahead product and swiping their Nectar card. The guidance points out, among other things, that the Moneybox promotion placed the opt-out in the long terms and conditions whereas it would have been better if there had been a direct link to the opt-out page. The key issue raised by the guidance on the Nectar promotion (although not strictly a legal issue) was that customers rarely remember purchasing low-value FMCG products so, when a customer wins, they may not necessarily remember the campaign and therefore they may believe follow up contact to be fraudulent. Building adequate visibility of a campaign is key to avoiding this situation.

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