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Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

FAQs

FAQs




Q. How can I complain?

Anyone can complain to the Direct Marketing Commission free of charge either through our online complaints form or by contacting us directly at dm@dmcommission.com.

The Direct Marketing Commission
DMA House
70 Margaret Street
London
W1W 8SS

Telephone: 020 7291 3350

Q. What are the Preference Services ?

The DMA’s Preference Services enable businesses to register their wish to opt out of receiving unsolicited telephone calls, and consumers to register their wish to opt out of receiving unsolicited messages by mail, telephone, fax or email.

The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up 20 years ago and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the indsutry.  It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioner’s Office.

The MPS Consumer File is a list of names and addresses of consumers who have told us they wish to limit the amount of direct mail they receive.  The use of the Consumer File by list-owners and users is a requirement of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing administered by the Advertising Standards Authority.  It is also a condition under the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Code.

The MPS can remove your name from up to 95% of Direct Mail lists.  It will not stop mail that has been sent from overseas, un-addressed material or mail addressed to The Occupier.  You can expect to continue to receive mailings from companies with whom you have done business in the past.  You may also receive mailings from small, local companies.  If you wish these mailings to be stopped, you must notify these companies directly.  It will take up to 4 months for the Service to have full effect although you should notice a reduction of the mail during this period.

Registering with the MPS is FREE.

Please click here to find out more.

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a central opt out register whereby individuals can register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls.  It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS.

The original legislation was introduced in May 1999.  It has subsequently been updated and now the relevant legislation is the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

Please click here to find out more.

The Fax Preference Service (FPS) is a central opt out register whereby businesses (and individuals if they wish) can register their choice not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing faxes.  It is a legal requirement that companies do not send such faxes to numbers registered on the FPS.

The original legislation was introduced in May 1999.  It has subsequently been updated and now the relevant legislation is the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

Please click here to find out more.

Q. What happens after I complain?

If your complaint falls within the remit of the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Code, then the Secretariat of the Commission will contact the subject of your complaint setting out the grounds on which it has been made, attaching the correspondence you have sent and requesting a response. In instances where a company does not respond or where the Secretariat  considers that the complaint warrants a formal investigation, the case will be presented to the Board of Commissioners for adjudication. Further details of the complaints procedure may be found on the adjudications page.

Q. What is the difference between the Direct Marketing Commission and Direct Marketing Association?

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is the national trade association for the direct marketing industry in the UK. It is Europe’s largest trade association in the marketing and communications sector, with approximately 800 corporate members. The DMA represents both advertisers, who market their products using direct marketing techniques – for example catalogue companies, financial services and charities – and specialist suppliers of direct marketing services to those advertisers – for example, creative agencies, list brokers, mailing and fulfilment houses and outsourced contact centres.

The DMA also administers the consumer preference services for telephone, mailing and fax. On behalf of its membership, the DMA promotes best practice, through its Code, in order to maintain and enhance consumers’ trust and confidence in the direct marketing industry.

The Direct Marketing Commission (DMC) is the body which oversees the Direct Marketing Association (DMA)’s Code.  The Code and DMC are here to give effective protection to recipients, users and practitioners of direct marketing.  We aim to ensure companies observe the highest standards of integrity and trade fairly with their customers and with each other, and we do this by investigating complaints, scrutinising direct marketing issues and practices, and providing guidance to consumers.

The DMC investigates all direct marketing complaints against DMA members where the complaint is within the scope of the DMA Code.  If the complaint is not covered by the Code, it is referred to another relevant organisation.

Q. What sanctions can the Direct Marketing Commission impose?

Sanctions

If a complaint is upheld following adjudication, the DMC has a range of sanctions that it will apply proportionately, depending on the seriousness of the issue or complaint.

These include:

• A formal recommendation to the DMA

• A formal visit to the member by the DMA

• A formal undertaking from the member to comply with the standards set out in the Code

• An undertaking by the member to carry out specific changes in processes, procedures, management or other arrangements to ensure an end to the problem

The DMC may make a recommendation to the DMA that a member be suspended from DMA membership or have their membership cancelled in cases where the DMC thinks this is necessary and proportionate.

The DMC may refer a member to relevant law enforcement and consumer protection bodies when this appears necessary.

The DMC may make its adjudications and files available to these bodies as required.