Editorial misses the mark

Editorial misses the mark

I was astonished to read the editorial in Strategy (Feb. 25/02), ‘Privacy legislation can help marketers target,’ when in fact the legislation being proposed by Ontario will jeopardize tens of thousands of marketing jobs and billions of dollars in revenue, not to mention the economic impact on your own publication if marketers have nothing to market.

The federal privacy legislation enacted last year reached an appropriate balance between consumer consent and the needs of business to use information for marketing purposes. That legislation was based on a delicate compromise negotiated over several years between consumer and privacy advocates and business representatives. The proposed new law in Ontario destroys that compromise and represents a massive and unwarranted intrusion in the marketplace.

With respect to the disclosure of ‘non-sensitive’ consumer information to third parties, our position continues to be that it is essential for the development of commerce that business be allowed to disclose this information based on clear opt-out consent. This still allows any consumer to decide that any personal information is sensitive and to protect it by exercising an opt-out. We also recognize that the requirement for express, positive consent needs to be limited, as it is in the federal legislation, to information a reasonable person would consider to be sensitive.

Furthermore, for consumers who have already established business relationships with organizations, our position continues to be that these customers (through the initial transaction) have provided their ‘implied’ consent to receive information about additional goods and services from that organization. Otherwise customers would not learn of new products and expand the business relationship if they wish.

You state that ‘Obviously the industry lobby needs to rally to ensure that marketers aren’t hamstrung by government and consumer privacy concerns, but there are compromises to be made.’ Your editorial completely misses the mark on what these compromises might be, and as such does a complete disservice to your readers.

John Gustavson

President and CEO

Canadian Marketing Association

Toronto, Ont.

Carlsberg ad got positive feedback

Re: ‘Agencies still lack female creatives,’ Strategy, March 25/02.

What Karen Howe didn’t find out about the Carlsberg commercial is that the ‘hand gesture’ was added by the lead female talent in the spot (her idea) and was recognized and embraced most of all by the other two women in the commercial during the production.

Positive female feedback on this spot was overwhelming and they weren’t our primary target even though ’45% of females enjoy a cold one regularly.’ Welcome to your Carlsberg years.

Doug Robinson

Toronto, Ont.