While we talk about spam a lot, we don’t always acknowledge there are different kinds of spam: the incredibly sleazy stuff, and the less sleazy stuff. This second type is called opt-in, meaning that the spammers reckon they’ve asked your permission before sending you stuff. Sadly this is rarely the case: they just lie, by including some dodgy line about ‘you agree to receive mail from us when you joined the Dodgy Goods Which Fell off the Back of a Pickup Network’ or somesuch. I’d like to see these guys hounded as much as the sleazy underwear-to-work wearing spammers. A decision in the UK may make this the case.
According to out-law.com, a magazine exploring the legal side of e-commerce, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority has ruled that you need to check for explicit consent before using a marketing list for an e-mail campaign, even if you believe in good faith that the list comprises only those who opted to receive marketing. The case, out-law.com says, will resonate among e-marketers who face a major consent problem when trying to exchange e-mail address lists. Hopefully for us end-users, it may make a decline in this absurd pseudo-opt-in spam that’s just as annoying as sleazy spam.