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Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

Maximum Impact – complaints about direct marketing

November 2013

This complaint from a business related to a data order for 1000 records which had not met the criteria requested.  The data provided did not include essential address or telephone details and replacement data offered in compensation appeared similarly incomplete, inaccurate or out of date.

Maximum Impact did not provide the Commission with a response to the issues raised or any assurances over future compliance with the DMA Code of Practice. The Commission did, however, have sufficient information from the complainant including mail exchanges with Maximum Impact to reach a set of decisions.

There was a clear unwillingness on the part of Maximum Impact to liaise with the Secretariat, seeming disinterest in the Code and little evidence of any concern over their client’s circumstances.  In the absence of any information from the member, and based on the Commission’s assessment of the other information available, the Commissioners came to an unanimous conclusion to uphold breaches of the following clauses in the Direct Marketing Code of Practice: fair behaviour (3.21); information on data and data controllers (5.74); provision of accurate and up to date data (5.37); responsibility for suppliers (3.15) and responding to the Commission (4.20).

In reaching a decision as to sanction the Commissioners noted that there had been a number of previous complaints including a case with many similarities which had resolved informally following assurances from Maximum Impact that it was a ‘one off’ incident attributable to a single member of staff. 

In light of serious, repeated Code breaches and a seeming indifference to the needs of their consumer, and their responsibilities to their industry and trade association, this led Commissioners to conclude that there should be a recommendation to the DMA that membership of the Association is terminated.