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Data protection for consumers

Data protection for consumers

Does the “flood of adverts” in your letterbox get on your nerves and would you rather receive less advertising material? Have you received addressed advertising material and are you wondering how the sender got hold of your address?

Advertising is an indispensable part of our modern economy and we come across it in virtually every area of our lives. In the main, people tend to see advertising as a nuisance when it doesn’t interest them. When it comes to the advertising material in your letterbox, you should differentiate between non-addressed advertising (free weekly newspapers, pizza service flyers and the like), partially addressed bulk mail (advertising with your address but not your name) and fully addressed mailings and catalogues (with your name and address). Normally, only a small portion of the advertising in your letterbox consists of addressed advertising.

What can I do to get less advertising delivered to my letterbox?

As a consumer, you have several possibilities to actively influence the amount of advertising put in your letterbox.

– A notice with the right text on your letterbox enables you to prohibit the delivery of non-addressed and partially addressed advertising. However, a no advertising notice is not sufficient when it comes to advertising news sheets, free weekly newspapers or free newspapers with advertising inserts; in such cases, the words no free newspapers will have to be added to the sign.

– You always have the possibility of informing the sender of an advertising mail shot that you do not wish to receive any further advertising from that sender. This will then apply to both partially addressed and fully addressed advertising materials.

– You can have your details entered in the “Robinson List”, a mailing preference service provided by the German Dialogue Marketing Association (Deutscher Dialogmarketing Verband e.V. – DDV). This service is free of charge. You can have your entry relate to all addressed mailings or only for advertising from specific fields. The “Robinson List” is deployed by the majority of companies operating in the area of dialogue marketing in Germany but does not become effective until a business writes to a person previously unknown to that business for the purpose of attracting new customers. More information on the “Robinson List” and a form that you can use to have your details entered there can be found at (in German language).

Where did the sender get my address from?

You receive most of the addressed mailings from businesses where you are already a customer or where you have already shown some interest (e.g., by sending off for a catalogue, a trial subscription or by taking part in a competition). In addition to this, firms you do not already know also send you advertising, intended to attract you as a new customer. Even if merely to keep their own costs to a minimum, such firms strive to address only those people who actually need or at least have an interest in their offers by selecting suitable addresses.

According to the German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), you may be sent addressed advertising only after you have given your consent or when one of the following exceptions applies:

The advertiser was informed of your address by you (request for information, purchase of a product, competition).

It relates to a commercial offering.

The source of the address or the party responsible is named in the advertising material.

The advertising business has taken your address from a public directory.

It relates to advertising for donations to an organisation that is entitled to tax relief pursuant to Sec. 10b and Sec. 34 German Income Tax Act (EstG).

You have the right to demand information from the sender of advertising on the source used to procure your address (Sec. 34 BDSG). Irrespective of this, you can also object to the use of your data for advertising purposes. The owner of the address is then obliged to block your address either only for use by third parties or for any kind of advertising – just as you wish (Sec. 35 BDSG).

In principle, you can also have your address deleted from the owner’s databases, but there will then no longer be any guarantee that you will no longer receive any advertising from that party.

If you receive addressed advertising material from one of our customers and you would like to learn more about the source of your address and/or would like to have it blocked for further sending of addressed advertising material, please let us have the name of the sender and if possible a copy of the advertising material (or alternatively the advertising code above your address). We would be pleased to deal with your issue and will forward it to the address owner concerned.

Post your concern to the following address

Liebetrau Listservice
Karolingerring 4
50678 Köln


Or e-mail it to

Lars Mühlschlegel Tel.: +49 (0)2 21/99 22 53 21