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Christmas cards – Are you doing it the right way?

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7. December 2015

Now is the time for sending Christmas cards to your customers – but are you doing it the right way? Only few are aware of the legal rules in connection with sending electronical and postal Christmas cards. The Danish Consumer Ombudsman published guidelines explaining the rules in the Danish Marketing Practices Act for sending electronic Christmas cards to customers.

Maintaining a good relationship with your network and especially your customers is often an underestimated part of running a business. Sending a Christmas card is therefore a good opportunity to send an informal greeting to your customers and thanking them for the good cooperation in the past year.

However, as good as the intentions might be when sending a Christmas card, the company must be aware of the legal rules of the Danish Marketing Practices Act in this area.

Christmas Cards per mail
Section 6 (1) of the Danish Marketing Practices Act states that a company must not approach anyone by means of electronic mail with a view to the sale of products, labour and services unless the party concerned has requested him to do so. The sending of a Christmas cards falls within the scope of this Section, even though the Christmas card might not have the sale of products as a main purpose. According to the Consumer Ombudsman, it is enough that the Christmas cards include “branding”, i.e. the marketing of brands.

Christmas cards may therefore only be send to customers who have given their consent to receive marketing material through electronic mail. Exceptions can be made, if the company receives a customer’s electronic contact details in connection with the sale of products or services. In this case the company may market his own similar products or services to this specific customer by electronic mail. The customer must be given the option, free of charge and in an easy manner, to unsubscribe.

Christmas Cards per post
If the Christmas card is send per ordinary mail, the rules are less stringent. The company may send an individually addressed Christmas card to the customer per post, unless the customer is registered on the Robinson list.

If a customer is registered on the Robinson list, companies are not allowed to send any advertising material, regardless of whether it is per email or ordinary mail. It is therefore advisable to check the list before sending a Christmas card.

In case of any further questions concerning the Danish Marketing Practices Act and unsolicited communication you are welcome to contact lawyer Stefan Reinel, sr@njordlaw.com and assistant attorney Sabine Glatz sag@njordlaw.com .

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