European Parliament Green-Lights Email Opt-Out

14 November 2001

The European Parliament in plenary session on Tuesday voted conclusively – 299 votes to 219 – in favour of an opt-out mechanism for unsolicited email. Its decision will be incorporated into the revised European Union Directive on Electronic Communication and Data Privacy.

Hailing the decision as “a positive vote for e-business,” Axel Tandberg, director of government affairs at FEDMA (Federation of European Direct Marketing Associations) said: “[FEDMA has] managed to convince the politicians that there is a distinct difference between illegal spamming on one side and serious direct and interactive marketing on the other. This vote is a victory for companies depending on targeted e-mailings in their commercial communications strategy.”

A second initiative favourable to marketers was tabled by EC rapporteur Marco Cappato and approved by the plenary session. This creates a harmonised opt-out regime for email marketing within existing customer relationships. “Even in opt-in countries, e-commerce companies will now be able to inform their clients on a regular basis about new products and services,” Tandberg confirmed.

News source: FEDMA