Advertise with

Spam A Friend: To recommend or not to send

Mar 19th 2014, 08:06

Spam A Friend: To recommend or not to send

Tayyibah Suliman, Senior Associate, and Nabeela Latib, Candidate Attorney, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Practice, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Users of online shopping websites and social media platforms would recently have encountered the 'send-to-a-friend' or 'tell-a-friend' option which in some cases is accompanied by an incentive in the form of a gift or voucher. These options are marketing tools used by online service providers whereby they can obtain email and other details for their existing users' friends and family.

On the face of it, this appears to be an effective way for online service providers to generate access to a wider customer base by leveraging off of their existing customer base. As this is in effect a form of direct marketing, it is however important to evaluate the permutations of these options from a data protection and consumer protection perspective.

The German Federal Court recently adopted a conservative approach in finding that the 'send-to-a-friend' option constitutes illegal spam unless the recipient of the email expressly consents thereto.

In the matter before the court, the recipient of the emails had, despite objecting thereto, been flooded with emails. Although it is the friend of the recipient who initiates sending an email by making use of the 'send-to-a-friend' functionality, the email is ostensibly generated and sent by the online service provider. As a result, the court found that the onus is on the online service provider to obtain the recipient's consent. The basis for this decision lies in the specific requirements under German law for a consumer to expressly opt-in for the purposes of direct marketing.

Click here for more information

Please feel free to make comments or raise new issues by emailing us here
March 2014
Scotch & Soda opens in Sandton City, Gauteng

Amsterdam-based fashion brand, Scotch and Soda is the latest global store to choose Sandton City to launch its African growth trajectory. Read more
What’s on your mind?
We want to hear from you and what you think about the retail industry in South Africa. You can email your comments and feedback to our editor, here.
Latest Reports
Retailer | View all Retailer News
Massmart financial results
Massmart announced its full-year results for the 53 weeks ended 29 December 2013, reporting an increase in headline earnings.
· Ackermans opens 400th store in November 2013
· Bata opens biggest retail outlet in Oxford Street Mall, Ghana
· Luxury retail space for Sandton City
· Z-Mart Mall woos chain stores, Zambia
Business confidence index improves
Sacci's Business Confidence Index (BCI) improved by 1.4 index points from 90.5 in January to 91.9 in February.
· Botswana retail set for growth says analyst
· Construction sector to drive Namibian growth in 2014
· Textile exports to US collapse, Botswana
· Turkish Business delegation explores opportunities in Ghana
International | View all International News Marketing and Business | View all Supplier News
Tesco plans to buy clothes from Ethiopia
Tesco, the world's third-largest retailer, expects to source more clothes from Ethiopia, but wants the nascent industry there to uphold high ethical standards.
· Adidas sees World Cup boost for profits
· Best Buy swings to profit on cost cuts
· Dollar General Q4 disappoints; to open 700 new stores in 2014
· Sears narrows Q4 loss as it cuts costs
Tablet market continues surge in SA
Shipments of PC tablets into the Middle East and Africa (MEA) expanded 111% year on year in the final quarter of 2013, according to the latest results released by International Data Corporation (IDC).
· Auas Valley construction pains hint at smarter retail complex
· Construction on 77 On Independence retail complex to...
· Liberty Group acquires share of Melrose Arch Precinct
· Oryx spends most of Absa loan on shopping mall upgrade
Accsys launches PeopleWare MobiApp
The recent announcement of the Accsys PeopleWare MobiApp, a mobile extension of the Company’s Employee Self Service offering, has once again raised its profile in the market.
Azkar selects ZetesChronos POD solution to improve customer service
Azkar, the leading global logistics operator in Spain and Portugal, has opted for the ZetesChronos solution to manage its Proof of Delivery (POD) processes.
Momentum and Pick n Pay enter unique partnership
Momentum and Pick n Pay today officially announced a partnership that will see the two companies work together on select sponsorships. The move will see a focus on developing enhanced customer-engagement and relationships of both Pick n Pay and Momentum customers.
The Clothing Bank opens in Johannesburg to support unemployed women entrepreneurs
Woolworths grants R1.5 million start-up loan for Gauteng expansion and is joined by Edcon as clothing supply partner. The Clothing Bank, a fast-growing women’s empowerment enterprise has opened its first Johannesburg branch in Half Way House.
Fastmoving provides news, insight and analysis into the retail and FMCG industries in South Africa and has been doing so for the last 12 years. We provide marketing services to businesses operating in the retail and FMCG sector by creating dedicated company pages, publishing news releases and offering exposure in our regular weekly and monthly newsletters.

To find out more about our services, contact
Editorial contact

Tina Baney
National Sales/ Account Manager
011 312 5928
083 251 6874
Vivienne Ayerst
Customer Service Manager/ Client Liaison
021 423 8213
082 921 5468
For editorial:
Wendy Smith

Tel: 021 465 6910