4 min read

Writen by Zlatko Delev

Posted on: October 17, 2022

Who is responsible for complying with the rules on live marketing calls?

In general, the PECR rules apply to anyone that wishes to make unsolicited live calls for the purposes of direct marketing.

It is the ‘caller’ or the ‘instigator’ of the call who has responsibility for complying with the rules. PECR do not define the term instigator. However, you are likely to be instigating if you encourage, incite, incentivize or ask someone else to make live calls containing your direct marketing message. 

For example, if you ask someone else to make live marketing calls for you, then you might be the instigator and the party who is making the calls is the caller. This can mean you both have responsibility for complying with PECR.

If you want to use someone else to make your marketing calls, you should undertake appropriate checks to have confidence in their reliability from a compliance point of view. You should also have a written contract with them that sets out their responsibilities. If you’re using personal data, then you must have a contract with the organization sending marketing on your behalf.

PECR says that you must not allow others to use your phone line to breach the live marketing call rules. You therefore must make sure that your communications comply with PECR, if you want to:

  • use your line to make live marketing calls on behalf of someone else; or
  • let someone else use your line to make such calls.
What are the rules on making most types of live marketing calls?

In general, you don’t need consent under PECR to make most types of live marketing call. For most types of live call, you can make unsolicited marketing calls to people and businesses if:

  • they have not objected to your live marketing calls (you must not call someone who told you they do not want your marketing calls); or
  • the number is not listed on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), or in the case of corporate subscribers the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS)

However, there are stricter rules for direct marketing calls about claims management services and pension schemes. We discuss these below.

You must also provide certain information when you make live marketing calls – see the section What information do we need to provide when making live marketing calls? for further information.

It is important to remember that your live marketing calls may also be affected by the rules and standards of other regulators. For example, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has rules banning certain types of cold-calling. You should know about all the rules and standards that apply to you.

What information do we need to provide when making live marketing calls?

When you make a live marketing call, you must display your number (or a valid alternative contact number) to the person receiving the call. You must not withhold your number when making direct marketing calls.

You must also:

  • say who is calling (eg the name of your organisation); and
  • provide contact details or a Freephone number for your organisation if asked.

These rules apply to both solicited and unsolicited live marketing calls.


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