It is forbidden to send marketing emails to either corporate or individual subscribers without their prior consent.
Direct marketing emails cannot be sent if:
- the identity of the sender is disguised or concealed;
- an opt-out possibility is not provided.
The sender must also clearly identify:
- commercial and unsolicited commercial communications as such;
- natural or legal person on behalf of whom a commercial communication is made;
- promotional offers, competitions and games and conditions for participation.
It is possible to send marketing emails without the subscribers’ prior consent, if:
- a commercial relationship already exists, and the organisation has collected the email address in the context of a sale (interpretation of the supervisory authority requires that the sale resulted in a financial transaction obligation for the addressee of the email);
- and used this address to offer only similar goods or services;
- the data subject is informed about the use of his/her email address for direct marketing purposes at the time of his or her registration; and
- the data subject has been (at the time of registration) offered the opportunity to object to such use.
Another exception to the opt-in rule states that no consent is required if the email address is published and designated by the subscriber for the purpose of receiving those specific emails.