The companies’ use of Facebook notifications can be spam

The Danish Consumer Ombudsman has clarified how companies can use Facebook for marketing and specially when the “Invite to page”-function may be used. The “Invite to page”-function allows companies to invite Facebook users to “like” the company’s Facebook profile if the user has previously “liked” a post or picture from the company profile. The Facebook user is then presented for the opportunity of following the Facebook profile of the company in question trough a notification.

In the Danish Consumer Ombudsman’s opinion, this notification is covered by the Marketing Act’s prohibition on unrequested electronic enquiry, ban on spam, and requires therefore prior consent from the recipient.

“The Fact that a Facebook user «likes» something on a company page does not meet the requirements to consent. The company may thus not send notifications or marketing to the user based on the mentioned «like» alone”, says Christine Jans.

Facebook is therefore governed by the rules of the Marketing Practices Act regarding direct marketing, and that too applies to similar functions on other social platforms. It is noted that the above-mentioned does not take a stand to whether a Facebook user that has actively said yes to follow a page, which there after sends notifications to the user.

Read the Danish Consumer Ombudsman’s statement here (in Danish).

For more information, please contact Christine Jans, christine.jans@synchlaw.dk, +45 6058 8862.

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