Helsingfors universitet, Helsinki 2006
Spam - Spim - Spit: En marknadsrättslig undersökning av marknadsföring via nya kommunikationstekniker
Doktorsavhandling, maj 2006.
The study presents the development of new communication technologies and the emergence of new marketing methods. The use of new communication technologies in marketing has brought with it some problems, which didn't previously exist or which were of little import in 'traditional' marketing. These new problems can be divided into the following three categories: 1) marketing messages causing expenses for the recipient; 2) marketing messages causing impediment for the recipient; and 3) marketing perceived as being intrusive.
Legislation is hectically being drawn up now around these issues. Individual states, national authorities, and international organisations are working to provide regulation of marketing through newly available technologies. One of the main questions is whether the legislation should be based on an opt-in or opt-out solution. An opt-in solution requires the sender of a marketing message to first secure the recipient's prior consent to receiving the message. An opt-out solution is when marketing messages can be sent to recipients, if they have not specifically notified the sender that they do not wish to receive such marketing communication. According to current legislation following technologies require prior consent for marketing use: automatic calling machines, fax machines and e-mail.
The central theme of the thesis is to analyse whether the current opt-in list is comprehensive enough, or whether it should be broadened. The study deals with following marketing methods: web pages, banners, pop-up windows, e-mail, mobile phones, fax machines, blogs, RSS, Instant Messaging and VoIP. In addition to these marketing methods the study also comprehends more traditional marketing methods such as doorstep selling, telemarketing, TV and radio marketing, addressed and unaddressed direct mail.
Since new channels of communication continue to be developed, it would not be meaningful to legislate by specifically naming the technologies that require prior consent for marketing use. A more expedient solution is to create legislation stating the following three criteria: 1) the marketing measures must not cause the recipient any expense - The No-cost Rule; 2) the marketing measures must not cause any impediments for the recipient - The Impediment Rule; and 3) the marketing measures must not be too intrusive - The Intrusiveness Rule. If marketing breaks any one of these rules, regardless of the communication method used, an opt-in solution should be applied.
Another central part of the thesis is the question how the sanction system should be shaped. How can the recipient receive compensation to cover the costs caused by marketing measures? Is it time for Finland to implement punitive damages? Maybe it's time for Finland to introduce class action? Can disputes arising from marketing measures via new communication channels be settled by virtual courts or ODR?
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© Helsingfors universitet 2006
Senast uppdaterad 05.05.2006