August 15, 2007

Have you read the UEM Ordinance?

Yesterday's ADMA event on unsolicited elecronic messages (UEM) and its implications went down a treat. Of the 64 attendees, only one person admitted to reading the government ordinance in full! So I guess that means that the rest of us are all spammers!

Basically, if you've been a responsible permission-based marketeer, nothing has really changed. The ordinance simply formalises the fact that you need to ask for people's permission on how and when to communicate with them, you need to let them know who you are and at all times give them the ability to op-out or, in the case of email, unsubscribe.

Interestingly enough, Hong Kong spam has decreased by 30% since the beginning of this year; Epsilon's Dominic Powers believes that this more to do with the legislation in the mainland rather than the UEM Ordinance in Hong Kong. China now requires all sender of commercial emails to have a value-added telecoms license and start the subject line with "广告:", much like the use of "ADV:" in the US.

If you're eager to catch up on the ordinance, you can visit the relevant page on the OFTA website or download a PDF summary in English or Chinese. Any responsible marketeer using electronic means, be it email, sms, blue tooth, voice recordings or whatever future technology comes up, should be au fait with the rules. If not, just to understand how far they can be stretched!

As an aside, in Asia only Japan and South Korea enforce opt-in legislation which has led to almost zero spam.

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