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Monster problems! Cookie legislation and your website

In May new legislation came into force, designed to protect website surfers. As of now, websites that use cookies* must gain acceptance from the visitor – broadly speaking. It’s a monster problem for website owners.

In short, if a cookie is used with the sole purpose of proving the visitor with the information they require, or where this is felt necessary to give the information they need, you may not need their approval. The legislation was also downgraded before becoming law to assume people have given “implied consent” when using the site. We have seen that most websites now are gaining approval as a matter of course.

The legislation isn’t wholly clear, and it can be studied here:


Different companies are dealing with it in different ways. We’ve added an approval on http://www.selfbuildportal.org.uk/
It involves a discrete menu item at the top of the page with a clickable acceptance; and when clicked it actually uses a cookie and will not display on that browser for another 365 days. And here it is:

Cookie acceptance at the top of the home page








BT.com take a different approach, much like we have on our own site, with a floating pop-up window which disappears after a certain time.

A pop-up window on the BBC site, bottom right








Sky.com take a different approach and use page links to simply provide the user with information.

Sky uses text links for cookie acceptance








There are hefty fines for non-compliance, but it has been indicated that there’s a bedding in window to let website owners catch up. If you’re in any doubt, ask us – call Steve on 01884 255999.

* Websites that you can edit yourself, such as those built in WordPress, Joomla or other CMS / e-commerce systems tend to use cookies. A cookie is a small bit of code that’s placed on the visitors’ web browser/machine.

Steve Lodge :Steve trained as a NCTJ journalist and is an experienced copywriter. He has over 15 years in agency, and started Oxygen in 2002.