What is marketing consent?

Marketing consent requires an individual to freely, specifically, and positively agree to receive marketing communications from an organization.

Consent can be explicit, such as actively ticking an opt-in box to receive emails. In some situations, it can be implied from the context, but the intention to consent must still be clear from a positive action like providing contact details when buying a product. However, implied consent is unlikely to be valid for more intrusive types of marketing like phone calls or texts – this requires explicit opt-in consent.

The key elements of valid consent are:

  • Freely given: The individual must have a genuine choice and feel no pressure or coercion.
  • Specific: Consent must be granular and cover specific types of marketing channels and specific organizations. Broad blanket consent is not valid.
  • Informed: Clear information must be provided on exactly what marketing to expect and from whom.
  • Unambiguous: A clear opt-in is ideal. Pre-ticked opt-in boxes or opt-out boxes relying on inaction are generally not compliant.

Organizations must keep clear records to demonstrate consent and allow individuals to easily withdraw consent at any time.

Read more about GDPR consent.