British Marketers Unprepared for Email Law Change

16 September 2003

The majority of Britain’s email marketers are still using mailing lists that will be illegal in six weeks’ time, according to a new survey.

Research from marketing solutions firm StoneShot found that most technology marketers are not prepared for a European Union directive on electronic communication that will come into force in the UK on October 31.

This directive will force companies that advertise via mass emails to seek permission from recipients beforehand – a scheme known as ‘opt-in’.

However, just 30% of marketing managers at technology firms have detailed knowledge of the change in the law, and a mere 37% have an email list that will comply with the new regime. Some 29% do not even have an opt-in or opt-out policy.

“The industry has known for some time that this directive will become law at the end of next month, but little in the way of preparation seems to have been done,” declared StoneShot ceo Gavin Stone.

"Worryingly, the majority of respondents are using email marketing to attract new customers and to retain existing clients. If they do not take action to generate opt-in lists they will be doing so illegally.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff