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MailChimp could cancel you for violating this “Catch 22” rule that every marketer ignores

This is the first of a multi-article series.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 3.55.15 PMSource: eMarketer

More than 80% of online marketers are concerned that marketing tech vendors might expose their companies to legal risks.


Facebook’s latest data breach affecting more than 50 million accounts certainly amps up worries because the #1 social media site serves as a vendor to nearly every marketer the plant.. That’s especially significant now that Facebook is looking at up to $1.6 billion in fines from the European Union for violating its General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


All of that comes on top of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal  which has caused legal and regulatory headaches as well as user abandonment of their accounts.

Widespread and complicated issues

In addition to Facebook, the breadth and depth of vendors entrusted with personal data include companies such as Eventbrite, Survey Monkey, Google (DoubleClick, AdWords, Blogger Gmail), and a host of email service providers.


For companies worried about possible vendor liability, the issues are even more complicated . This is because the EU’s GDPR varies from the recently approved California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Both wary in the size of companies which are covered and in the specific types of data covered.


While Facebook has gotten the most headlines, corporate marketers may find that other marketing tech vendors are potentially exposing them to Facebook-style problems in both legal/regulatory issues and a possible “Facebook moment” from angry customers.


This is especially significant when doing business with vendors of all sorts who share personal information from company marketing departments with Facebook, Google, and among other third parties.


In addition, those marketing tech vendors usually combine personal data shared by company marketing departments with other outside data to build targeting profiles that may be used by associated companies but not shared fully with members of their customer users.

Email marketing focus

This article focuses on email marketing because:

  • it is is so successful (see below),
  • inexpensive, and
  • the usage by marketing departments is ubiquitous.

The rest of this 1,513-word article is available to Wine Executive News Premium Subscribers including:

  • MailChimp, other email vendors can cancel you for this Terms of Service/Use violation that every marketer makes with every email

  • Unworkable but mandatory email rule ubiquitously ignored

  • The chicken/egg “Catch 22” — wine marketers express their confusion & frustration

  • MailChimp’s non-response, response

Premium Subscribers Log-In Here:

Coming up in article two of this series:

MailChimp Terms of Use requires its customer/user members to post their privacy policy prominently where email recipients can easily find them.

How can  a customer/user members create an adequately detailed privacy when MailChimp doesn’t disclose what specific data it gathers from email recipients, what other data it uses from itself and third-party partners to merge with that information?


In addition, no detail is available on the exact data it shares with Facebook and Google for advertising partnerships. And nothing is known about what Facebook and Google do with that shared data.


That is also missing from MailChimp’s online data disclosures intended for email recipients.

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