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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

May I spam you, please?

Korea is trying hard to get rid of spammers. From March 31 onwards, they will have to ask nicely if they want to send promotional material or make sales calls to a cell phone, fixed-line phone or fax. E-mail spamming is only allowed (so to speak), when the mail is identify as advertising in the subject line.

This is probably the only chance to handle the problem - but it won't probably work with spammers outside Korea.

Now, additionally, Korean marketers are not allowed to simply call. They also need to send an email first, use surface mail (which might be snail mail) or websites to ask permission to call.
To make it even harder, marketers must obtain an additional endorsement for mobile messages at night between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.

This sounds great and like the deathknell for marketing in Korea, until you come to the following line: "The ministry said legal promotional activities like telemarketing would remain allowed under the Call Sales Law and the Electronic Marketing Law."

This might be the loophole needed for the whole industry. So don't expect a huge shift to new jobs or high unemployment in the direct marketing segment. Just expect changed titles in the business cards.

(By Asia Business Consulting)