Advertisers forced to gain consent for SMS services

The Wireless Marketing Association (WMA) has welcomed a final vote by the European Parliament requiring advertisers to obtain consumers’ consent before sending them commercial messages using text messaging services, or SMS.

Provided the vote is endorsed by the European Union’s Council of Ministers, the directive will go to the Department of Trade & Industry for codification into law, which may take up to two years. In the interim, the WMA is working to “aggressively” tackle the spam issue.

WMA chairman Steve Wunker says: “The EU directive recognises the enormous power of SMS advertising. This power can be abused, and it’s important that consumers continue to see it as a valuable innovation.

“The WMA established a code of practice in February requiring user permission, and it is glad to see those provisions about to be reflected in law. The WMA hopes that legislation will provide a leading role in industry self-regulation.”

Traci Gibbons, digital advertising strategist at WMA member Orange, says the mobile operator “strongly believes that consumers should not receive unsolicited messages. Orange welcomes the EU’s move.”

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