POPIA and Direct Marketing


Direct marketing is where a supplier either in person, by post, or electronically, communicates with a consumer for the purpose of advertising his, her or its goods for sale, services available or to request a donation. Direct marketing is client-facing, which means that mishaps and mistakes are automatically visible, while daily communication with data subjects locally and/or globally, makes it highly prone to violations of the required data protection standards.


The application of POPIA’s conditions to the current landscape of direct marketing in South Africa, taking into account modern digital means and methods of marketing, remains one of the most popular topics of conversation when it comes to POPIA compliance. This is largely because an array of technical challenges to address this compliance area exists on the one hand, while it also provokes application of a number of existing local laws and guidelines that govern data subject rights.

Technology has made the world a lot smaller and in the meantime the range to access data subjects has grown wider and finer. Information such as physical addresses, postal addresses, email addresses, contact numbers being requested, received and potentially shared to third party platforms, mobile applications and apps, and push notifications, are all part and parcel of the marketing space.

At the end of the day you are interacting with an increasing customer base, via multiple channels collecting various data, form location, to preferences, on computers, tablets and smartphones and all of this adds to the complexity of the implementation of appropriate processing measures and security mechanisms required to stay out of the naughty corner. Therefore, the way your business direct markets and manages a data subject’s personal data when direct marketing to them will trigger POPIA’s conditions for lawful processing.

Skills session topic:

POPIA and direct marketing

Cost of session:

R2 300 per attendee (VAT excluded)

Learning Outcomes – What an attendee will learn at this session includes:
  • Direct marketing in South Africa prior POPIA enforcement – opt-out method
  • Direct marketing under POPIA enforcement – opt-in method
  • What is considered direct marketing
  • What is not considered direct marketing
  • Marketing requirements
    • New Customers
    • Excisting Customers
    • Email Marketing
    • Telemarketing
    • Targeted Website Advertising
    • Location-based Marketing 
  • Exporting data outside South Africa
  • Penalties for non-compliance
  • Practical examples and tools for managing direct marketing requirements and consent
  • Practical scenarios
Why attend the session?

POPIA changes the rules regarding direct marketing practices and every business in some way or form uses marketing as a means to share insight into its products and services to reach and grow its customer base. Ensuring that your business complies with the law when implementing direct marketing measures safeguards that you do not find yourself having to answer to the Regulator and that your business’ reputation stays intact.

Who should attend the session?

The persons in your organisation responsible for the management and facilitation of direct marketing measures for example: Marketing service providers and internal marketing managers and teams.

Duration and location:
  • The session can either be held at our offices (Brooklyn, Pretoria) (we have capacity for a maximum of 1 – 10 persons) or online via video conferencing. The organisation to provide its preferred method of presentation.
  • The duration of the session is 2 hours, with a brief tea interval and allocated time for Q&As.

Once we have received the intended number of persons who will attend the session, together with each of their names, surnames and email addresses we shall provide 3 available dates for the session to be held.


Upon confirmation of session booking, our invoice shall be dispatched for payment to be made prior to the date of session.

Training session material:

We will provide all material in connection with the session to be presented.


The training is offered in English.

*Please take note that VDT’s training POPIA knowledge sessions are not accredited and/or affiliated with any higher education or skills development authority or institution. The skills development sessions are planned and presented internally and aim to provide applicable information regarding a particular topic presented and equip attendees with valuable skills which may assist them in further decision making.