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Legal Alerts

25/03/2020

COVID-19 and Commercial Electronic Messages

Legal Alerts
IT & Communications
General

Recent Development

The COVID-19 pandemic affects businesses worldwide by disrupting supply chains, service capabilities, events and organizations, along with available personnel for conducting any type of commercial activity. Naturally, providing prior and transparent communication to customers is a big part of tackling these difficulties. Companies may rely on electronic communication as a swift and easy way to reach and inform their customers on a variety of matters. The obligations and requirements applicable to commercial electronic messages under the Regulation on Commercial Communication and Commercial Electronic Messages (“Regulation“) continue to apply during the COVID-19 crisis.

What Does the Regulation Say?

Companies require recipients’ prior consents in order to send them commercial electronic messages promoting or marketing their products or services; advertising their business; or increasing their visibility through commemorative messages and greetings.

However, certain communications are exempt from the consent requirement:

  • If the recipient provided their contact information for the purposes of electronic communication or commercial electronic messages regarding the change, use or maintenance of the goods or services;
  • Messages containing notifications on a current subscription, membership or partnership status, collection, debt reminder, information update, purchase, delivery or similar issues along with messages that the company must send due to an applicable legislation;
  • Messages sent by intermediaries within the scope of the capital markets legislation to their customers for information purposes; and
  • Commercial electronic messages sent to merchants or artisans.

Conclusion

Companies may need to communicate the effects of COVID-19 on their business in order to manage customer expectations, for business continuity and to protect their brand image. The regulations provide exemptions for companies to send these messages without the recipient’s consent. However, companies must evaluate whether their messages to customers fall within the scope of this legislation, whether they benefit from one of the exemptions provided under the Regulation and whether they need to comply with the requirements under the Regulation.