EU Distance Selling

The EC Green Paper on marketing communications and what to expect if/when it becomes law.

Direct Response magazine has a summary:


  • 7 day cooling off period on mail order (excludes personalised goods, CDs and food)
  • Inertia selling ban
  • Attempt to tackle credit card fraud
  • For fax and automated calling to consumers, consent needed.
  • Call for system to let consumers opt out of DM.
  • Telemarketeers must tell consumers they are selling. comments on the EC paper:
  • 7 day cooling off
    - most marketeers have a gaurantee already and satisfaction is a statutary right so no change.
  • Inertia selling ban.
    -Depends on definition, is a book club which someone has agreed to an "inertia sell".
  • Anti Credit card fraud.
    - Some Mail order companies already won't deliver to addresses other than that of the card holder. If this is made a rule, what about Interflora (UK 0800 flowers) and "send us your gift list" or "subscribe a friend" offers.
  • Fax and automated calling without consumer permission.
    - What about email? With the growth in small home business and remote working the consumer/business line is becoming blurred, so it would be easy to fall foul of this one.
  • Opting out of DM.
    - We already have the mailing preference service so no change, unless penalties are involved. The added costs of complying could be a barrier for smaller companies.
  • Callers identifying purpose of call.
    - Making a sales offer actually might be more lucrative then sending out salespeople to do "free surveys", and bring down prices.