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What GDPR means for Photographers, Illustrators,
Reps and Stock Agencies

How will the new EU GDPR law affect you as a Photographer, Illustrator, Agent or Stock Library?

Posted by : Ross MacRae, CEO BikiniLists limited. 25th September 2017

What is the new EU GDPR legislation?

GDPR is the EU's new framework for data protection. It replaces the 1995 data protection directive, which is what the current UK data protection guidelines are based.

After four long years of discussion, The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was adopted by the European Parliament and the European Council in 2016 and comes into effect on 25 May 2018.

GDPR legislation will have a substantial impact on how ALL businesses process and store data, and if you are just hearing about it now then you are not alone... The Government's new data protection legislation, which will be implementing GDPR in the UK was only published on September 14th 2017. At the time of writing (22/09/17) the bill has still to pass through the House of Commons and the Lords before it becomes law.

This article is intended to address specifically what the new GDPR legislation will mean for Photographers, Illustrators, Stock Agencies and Artists' Reps when email marketing to new and existing clients in EU Advertising Agencies, Design Companies, News Publications, Magazines, Publishing Houses, Direct Clients and any other buyers of creative services... and guess what? It's GOOD NEWS : )

You would say that wouldn't you?

Yes I would and I do... I've spent the last year looking into how this will affect BikiniLists and our clients. I've consulted the ICO, I've spoken to my MEP, I've read countless GDPR articles and spoken to many customers and prospects...
There's a lot of fake news and mis-information out there.

Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner for the UK who is reponsible for enforcing this country's data protection laws is "frustrated by the amount of scaremongering" surrounding GDPR and described the new laws as only a "step change" for businesses.
Read the Blog - GDPR : Sorting Fact from Fiction...

How does GDPR affect me as a creative supplier?

Essentially there is little difference between the existing guidelines and GDPR.
Here is an extract from the ICO's own GDPR Direct Marketing Checklist...


Extracted : 15 September 2017
Data protection | Privacy and Electronic Communications
At-a-glance guide to the marketing rules

Business-to-business B2B (companies and corporate bodies)
- Can email or text corporate bodies
- Good practice to offer opt out
- Individual employees of corporate bodies can opt out
The important phrases here are : "B2B", "Corporate Bodies" and "OPT OUT".

So am I allowed to send email campaigns to Agencies or not?

As a Freelancer or a Limited Company creative supplier you may send email marketing campaigns and/or direct emails to people at companies as long as :
1. You offer a mechanism to opt out and stop if they do - No change there : )
2. You are promoting goods or services relevant to their industry. - No change there : )
3. You are attempting to make a sale. Not propagandising. - No change there either : )

OK... So what is the Big Change then?

GDPR will now regard sole traders as individuals. So after the 25th May 2018, you can't send Business to Consumer (B2C) marketing to private individuals or to SOLE TRADERS without having obtained and recorded their prior consent. This is the new bit as far as marketing your images is concerned... Provided you are marketing to corporate bodies you don't need prior consent from them, but you must follow the opt out rules.

Are lists I download from BikiniLists OK to send to?

YES - The BikiniLists Creative Buyers database is entirely B2B (Business to Business) with no B2C data stored whatsoever. So you can market your products and services to our lists on an OPT OUT basis and you are not required to obtain prior consent.

If you use your own list of personal contacts, you will need to obtain and record consent from each person before you market to them.

If you have questions regarding this article or any concerns regarding GDPR and how it might affect you, get in touch using our contact form here, or give one of our friendly team members a call on +44 (0)141 636 3901.



NOTE : The GDPR will affect much more than e-marketing, and I recommend that after reading this article you check out the UK ICO website to find out what you need to do for your own business's data storage and processing as I'm not covering any of that here.


Article Keywords : General Data Protection Regulation, GDPR, Photographers, Illustrators, Photo Agents, Stock Libraries, EU Legislation, email marketing, privacy, data protection, Bikini, Lists, promotion, data, eu law, production companies, for illustators, for reps, for stock agencies, for photographers

DSCLAIMER : The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Bikini Lists Limited and Bikini Lists Limited accepts no liability for the content of this article, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.

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