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Will the Cookies Law kill your online marketing?

Are you already compliant with the EU’s Cookie Law that came into effect in May 2011?

Organisations were given a year’s grace to prepare and the new law will be enforced from May 26th this year.

The law amends existing privacy legislation that requires websites to obtain informed consent from visitors before they can store or retrieve any information on a computer or other web-connected device.

This radically changes the web browsing and shopping experience for everyone as website owners will have to make significant changes to their sites. Unless a visitor has requested a service from your site and that that the service requires you to set a cookie that’s sole purpose is to provide the service… you need consent!

This means that you will have to: 1) advise visitors that the site uses cookies 2) tell them what it uses cookies for and 3) get the visitor’s permission to use them.

Your website may use cookies for one or more of the following reasons:

  1. Web ‘analytics’ – analysis of user behaviour (e.g. Google Analytics)
  2. To personalise pages and remember user preferences (e.g. Amazon)
  3. To manage shopping carts (e.g. any online store)
  4. To track people across websites and deliver clever targeted advertising

So what does the new law mean? Well, for all the above uses – you will have to ask visitors to allow cookies to be used in their browser session while they’re using your site.

Potentially, this could mean a significant loss in the information you’re currently able to collect about your online visitors and their activity – information that’s become immensely valuable to marketing campaigns both online and off.

Will the Cookies Law kill your online marketing?

That will depend on how you’re already using that information and how critical it’s use is to your organisation’s income model. It will also depend on how you plan to get visitor’s consent. What will you do?

If your website uses cookies in any of the ways listed above (& others not listed) – are you aware of the implications of the new law? Are you ready to comply? Are you ready for the potential consequences..?


For more information about what the law means and what you can do, talk to our team and read our upcoming e-newsletters and website news  and blog pages.


Other sources of helpful information about the 2011 EU Cookies Law

ICO – The Information Commissioners Office. The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

DMA – The Direct Marketing Association 

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