Prohibiting direct marketing and telemarketing

Everyone has the right to prohibit the use of their personal data for direct marketing. Follow these instructions to restrict telemarketing and other direct marketing addressed to you. Direct marketing means that the consumer is approached by post, by telephone or electronically, for example by e-mail.

Addressed direct marketing and telemarketing

You can take the following steps to opt out of direct marketing and telemarketing: 

Unaddressed direct marketing

Sending unaddressed direct marketing material to a consumer is permitted unless the recipient expressly prohibits it. Examples of unaddressed direct marketing include a brochure that a company mails to all or selected households in a certain area.

You can block unaddressed marketing by placing a sign that says ‘No advertisements’ or ‘No junk mail’ in a visible location by the letterbox.

The prohibition applies to all unaddressed marketing material. You cannot opt out of certain advertisements or types of marketing separately. An exception to the prohibition are official letters and advertising attachments placed inside newspapers, the distribution of which you cannot prohibit.

Electronic direct marketing

In most cases, the recipient must give their consent in advance for electronic direct marketing, including e-mails or text messages. Calls made using automated calling systems (robocalls) are considered a form of electronic direct marketing, and the recipient’s consent is required.

In exceptional cases, a company may send electronic direct marketing messages to a consumer without their permission if all of the following conditions are met:

  1. the consumer’s contact details were obtained when they bought a product, and the purpose of the marketing message is to market only other similar products
  2. the company told the consumer at the time of the sale that it will send marketing messages to the consumer
  3. the company informs the consumer clearly and distinctively in each electronic marketing message about their right to prohibit the sending of such messages.

If you would like to prohibit electronic direct marketing, follow these steps:  

  • An electronic marketing message often contains information about the consumer’s right to prohibit the messages and how to do this.

  • The Data Protection Ombudsman enforces the regulation on electronic direct marketing.

  • If a company makes persistent and unwanted solicitations to consumers by telephone, e-mail or other telecommunications channels, this is aggressive practice prohibited under the Consumer Protection Act. Compliance with the Consumer Protection Act is enforced by the Consumer Ombudsman.