DMA: Use cookie law to build trust

Enforcement of the so-called ‘cookie law’ should be seen as an opportunity for brands to build trust with consumers rather than as a £10bn threat to sales, according to industry body the DMA.
Just 24 hours after it was revealed that the Information Commissioner’s Office is preparing an online tool to report cookie miscreants, the DMA has published how-to guides for website and mobile marketing compliance with the directive.
Last week it was claimed that it will cost UK firms up to £10bn in lost business, advertising revenue and firms relocating overseas.
DMA executive director Chris Combemale said: “There’s plenty of evidence to show that the majority of website owners and digital marketers have yet to take any steps towards complying with the new law. The standard reason cited is the belief that the law won’t apply to them. There’s also a prevailing fear of becoming compliant and losing sales as a result of consumers rejecting cookies.
“While this may occur in the short term, research by the DMA has shown that consumers are more likely to trust a brand and share data with them if they’re open and transparent about how they will use it. Giving consumers straightforward information about your website’s cookies will demonstrate a commitment to using their data responsibly.”
With just over three weeks to go before the ICO starts to enforce the law, the DMA has published a 10-step overview guide to managing cookies for website owners and a separate how-to guide aimed specifically at mobile marketers.
The guides were launched at an industry seminar featuring presentations from legal experts, marketing practitioners and a Google representative.
Tim Roe, the email marketing representative on the DMA’s Cookie Compliance Working Party and director of data segmentation and email deliverability for RedEye, claimed the DMA’s guides are must-reads for marketing practitioners.
He stressed: “The industry has had a year to prepare for the cookie law, but ambiguity surrounding the interpretation of the requirements has proved to be a barrier to compliance for some companies.
“Our work has given DMA members vital extra information and direction beyond the guidance issued by the ICO. There is no excuse for companies to do nothing. Even if full compliance is not achievable at this point, organisations must take active steps to comply where possible, with the regulations.”
The DMA’s overview guides to managing website and mobile marketing cookies compliance can be downloaded for free from the DMA’s website: www.dma.org.uk
It has also teamed up with the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) to produce a how-to guide on cookie compliance for email marketers, which will be published later this month.

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