Press releases are not spam
PR agencies and journalists alike have been screaming blue murder the past few days over the perceived consequences of the new anti-spam law. Laurens Verhagen of Nu.nl, the website known for never writing its own stories if it can help it, whines (Dutch) that “an unintended side-effect is that PR agencies are no longer allowed to send press releases.”
Other journalists cheer on the new law. NRC.next’s Ernst-Jan Pfauth hails the death of the press release (Dutch): “Press release are old-fashioned, unnecessary and often misused.”
But as the here-often-quoted Internet law specialist Arnoud Engelfriet explains at De Nieuwe Reporter, the law has a provision for e-mail addresses that have been explicitly designed for receiving bulk mails. Also, the spam prohibition only pertains to advertising, informative e-mails are not part of the law.
That means that from now on only advertisements dressed up as press releases are out, but I cannot imagine that even Laurens Verhagen would bemoan such an intended consequence.
A tempest in a teapot.