ICO Cookie Monster Strikes Tomorrow

Friday, May 25th, 2012

May 25, 2012

On May 26, 2011, a new web privacy law came into effect in the United Kingdom (UK). The UK was first of the 27 European Union (EU) states to bring their laws in line with the directive intended to protect the privacy of individuals within the EU. With an understanding that there is work to be done and technical issues to resolve, the UK Government extended a one-year grace period for web sites to comply with the new regulations.

Well, the time as come! Effective tomorrow, the grace period is over and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) will be authorized to impose fines of up to £500,000 — heavy!. In theory, all web sites that serve UK visitors would be subject to this legislation. In reality however, it will be very hard to pursue a case against companies with no legal presence in the EU.

While a few organizations may be looking to leverage web server locations as a scapegoat, it is the location of the legal entities that the enforcement agencies will be focused on– the web host locations won’t matter. There are many types of cookies and forms of consent, so the rules can get pretty complicated. So before you decide to cuddle with the cookie monster, consider that he can complicate your life and confine your business. For example, the legislation does not require consent for cookies to be used in situations defined as ‘strictly necessary’ — but what does that mean? As currently clarified, if a user has placed an order online, then it’s implied by the user’s initial request that permission be granted without further consent to interfere with the transaction. This is just one example of an exemption to the consent requirement, and there are likely to be many more as the battle continues. Very few precedents have been set, so it will be interesting to watch the progression in Europe — and to compare and contrast with the ‘Do Not Track’ agendas in the United States.

To further complicate the legislative implications, take a peek at the definition of “Consent” as noted in the Open letter on the UK implementation of Article 5(3) of the e-Privacy Directive on cookies: “Consent” is defined in the Data Protection Directive as “any freely given specific and informed indication of his wishes.” Note that there are no time constraints associated with this definition, and no specification that the consent must be “prior consent”. Therefore, it is possible that consent may be given after or during processing.

While a few of us may start to feel better about our online privacy, and I’d expect virtually none from the online marketing communities, this legislation has negative implications. The efforts required to acquire informed consent on the use of cookies are likely to be costly for web site owners and businesses. Non-compliant web site owners will have an advantage as well, because their users will not be faced with questions that interfere with their browsing and buying activities.

Is the EU agenda overkill? Why can’t we just rely on innovative solutions that work with our browsers, like Ghostery for instance, to give us better insight and control?

To learn more about online behavioral advertising using cookies, take a look at the video below from Christina Tsuei at The Wall Street Journal. This was created back in 2010, but still very relevant and helpful for understanding how cookies work.

Data Card Trends for 2012

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

A recent Multichannel Merchant article presents an outlook for digital data to take center stage. While Washington continues to go back to the drawing board to draft new privacy legislation, experienced direct marketers continue to apply online and offline data for responsible direct marketing. For traditional list and data marketing professionals, this creates a need for a new kind of ‘rate card’ or data card for online display advertising. The opportunity to serve this market is open to everyone, and traditional direct marketing services providers have the experience backed with analytical expertise to make a difference.

Data cards are not only available on NextMark, but also on most list management web sites (many of which are hosted via the MarketMax Pro solution). An examples of these are the Parcel Magazine Mailing List and Developerfusion from World Innovators, and Pet Industry TotalBase from List Solutions.

“This online media is no longer new, and should be viewed as an extension of the services that traditional list brokers and managers represent and recommend to their clients,” says Lee Kroll, President, Kroll Direct Marketing.

You can download a free copy of the “2012 Data Card Trends Report” to see how the landscape is changing on our platforms.

Data Card Trends Report 2012

Widgets for Mailing Lists?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

While renting response lists for a direct marketing campaign may be a complicated process, the acquisition process for compiled lists is pretty simple nowadays. Companies like LeadsPlease have actually automated and ‘widgetized’ the mailing list selection and purchase process online. Tools like this are great for local businesses looking to target specific zip codes with a saturation mailing. There’s no need to over-complicate that process, since the data is compiled and, unlike with response data, there are minimal requirements for list owner approval.

If you are a list or data compiler and would like assistance with this kind of integration, let us know and we’ll work with you to get connected.

The DataWidget

The DataWidget

We’re hiring — Inside Account Manager

Friday, September 16th, 2011

We’re looking for an experienced Inside Account Manager to join our sales team.

This person will be responsible for establishing, developing, and managing relationships with website publisher, advertising agency, and media broker/management clients.

Click here for the full job description

NextMark Release Improves Usability

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

This evening, we will update the NextMark system to version 7.11.  The release is packed with changes aimed at making the system easier to use and more reliable than ever.

The most significant change you’ll see relates to the new Data Card Wizard that not only makes it easier for users to add and edit data cards but also enables a new type of data card format for advertising programs.  The data card format is determined by the Media Type, which is chosen on the first panel of the Wizard (see example below).

As you’ll soon see, it is now easier to navigate to specific section of existing data cards and make changes quickly.

Another new feature that reduces the amount of time you’ll spend updating data cards is batch update of key dates.  Now, from a search results page, the ‘valid as of’ and ‘last update’ dates can be updated and applied to one or more records displayed on the page.

So, log in and check it out and for a complete list of changes in 7.11, refer to the release notes.

We’re hiring – Market Intelligence Specialists

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

We currently have 3 positions available for Market Intelligence Specialists in our Edmond, OK office.  We are looking for driven individuals, with the desire to develop their knowledge and skills, to research and analyze media programs and translate them into data cards.

To learn more click here for the full position description.

We’re hiring – Client Success Advocates

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

We currently have 2 positions available for Client Success Advocates.  We are looking for exceptional people that can provide top notch service to our clients, ensuring they have the knowledge and resources necessary to effectively utilize the solutions they need within the NextMark web-based platform.

This role will include technical support, client training, managing knowledge resources, and quality assurance testing.

To learn more click here for the full position description.

We’re hiring — Product Manager

Monday, May 9th, 2011

We’re looking for an experienced Product Manager for our application development team.

This person would be responsible for defining product features based on customer and market research, developing an ongoing business plan for all web and mobile products, and coordinating the non-technical aspects of periodic software releases. He or she would be a key contributor in decisions about new products, product pricing and positioning, and the overall strategic plan of the company.

Click here for the full job description

Free Marketing Widget for Addressable Media

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

To add the free marketing widget to your web site or blog, just copy and paste the following code into the HTML document where you want it to appear:


Installing the Mailing Lists Search Tool

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

To add the mailing lists search tool to your web site and provide your visitors with access to over 60,000 mailing lists, just copy and paste the following code into the HTML document where you want the search tool to appear: