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Friel on the legality of promotional texts and advertising

25.07.2017
Friel on the legality of promotional texts and advertising

Prof Friel talked to Joe Nash on Limerick Today about the regulatory framework surrounding the use of various unsolicited advertisements in the form of emails and phone texts. Friel made the point that the law regulates the use of such unsolicited contacts, depending on the medium used: electronic, phone or post. Friel also stated that these unsolicited adverts served a useful function for both the consumer and the companies by first making consumers aware of opportunities that they might not otherwise know and second by reducing the cost of advertising into a more targeted approach and thereby reducing the cost of items in general. However he did agree with Joe that sometimes these texts in particular could become quite annoying but that in the absence of the consumer either have consented to receiving such material, or having been a customer within the previous 12 months, such unsolicited communications could potentially be an offence subject to prosecution by the Data Protection Commissioner. Friel also pointed out that very often people consented to these texts because they were not paying attention to what they were agreeing to but that they could revoke the consent at any stage. He also stated that if consumers continued to received these communications against their consent they should report this to the Data Protection Commissioner.