The Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008, as amended (CPA), is an important feature in South African commercial law and provides for the establishment of an “Opt-Out Registry”. As we speak, this is being ironed out by the National Consumer Commission (the NCC). This could mean that consumers that do not want to be targeted, would list their details there, and, in a perfect world, would never receive these again.

Direct marketing is a very broad concept in terms of the CPA, but be that as it may, the consumer’s right to privacy is dealt with here and in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013 as amended (POPI) amongst other bodies of regulations. It is this right that enshrines the consumer’s rights not to be subjected to or to refuse to accept or to terminate any contact with regards to marketing.

On the part of the supplier, who is authorizing or conducting any direct marketing, he/she must implement appropriate procedures to ensure that they have the required consumer consent and proof thereof.

As a general point, consumers are more reluctant to tick an ‘opt-in’ box, than they are to tick an ‘opt-out’ box. As such, it would seem that this is a more preferred methodology of running legitimate campaigns.

What should you know as a business owner or potential marketer?