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Digital marketing and the law

A digital marketing strategy is an important part of every firm’s overall marketing plan but are you aware of the legal requirements which affect this strategy?

Below are three areas you should be considering:

Your website

Like your company stationery your website must include certain details including:

  • Name, postal address and email address
  • Registered office address and number
  • Whether prices are inclusive or exclusive of tax and delivery costs
  • VAT number if applicable
  • Details of trade bodies or professional associations that the business is part of

Even the emails you send out from your company email address need to list:

  • All your company registration details

Not giving this information may mean you are breaching the Companies Act and you could be at risk of a fine.

Email marketing

This is covered by the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

To comply you need to consider:

  • Do you ensure that you include an unsubscribe option in direct marketing emails?
  • Is the correct company information on these emails?
  • Do you ensure that if you share or sell your clients’ information you get their explicit consent?

These regulations also cover text messaging, which is increasingly being used as a marketing tool for businesses.

Social media

As well as ensuring that posts made by staff in the course of business enhance rather than damage brand reputation, have you thought about what your staff could be saying in their own posts about your business, other employees, customers or competitors?

Not only could they be damaging your brand reputation, these posts could be defamatory, breach data protection and confidentiality and incur a liability for your business.

What about posts made by customers about your company? It may be worth having a plan in place to deal with negative posts by disgruntled customers. What would you do to protect your business if this happens?

As you can see from the above, the world of digital marketing is yet another legal minefield with lots of difficult but important regulations.

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