Minutes 2nd October 2013
DIRECT MARKETING COMMISSION
Wednesday 2nd October at Avanta, 10 Margaret Street, London W1W 8RL
George Kidd, Chief Commissioner David Coupe, Industry Commissioner Rosaleen Hubbard, Independent Commissioner Danny Meadows-Klue, Industry Commissioner Martyn Percy, Independent Commissioner
Suzi Higman, Secretary, DMC Jessica Tyrrell, DMA legal advisor
1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
Mike Lordan, DMA Chief of Operations sent his apologies for absence.
2. APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF 13th May, 2013
The Commissioners had confirmed that the Minutes were an accurate account of their last meeting. These had now been published on-line.
3. MATTERS ARISING
There was some discussion around current accreditation schemes, including the List Warranty Register, and future audit scheme, TPS Assured. Commissioners expressed a wish that data supply issues, in particular, were prioritised at the DMA as so many complaints received at the DMC related to unwanted communications received as a result of data gathered improperly by suppliers and sold or rented to third parties.
The issue of whether to publish the names of members companies which had been informally investigated by the Secretariat was also discussed. RH had undertaken research on the matter. It was decided not to progress with publishing these type of complaints online at the present time but DM-K suggested ways in which we could improve website communications for informally resolved complaints without naming members.
4. CHIEF COMMISSIONER’S REPORT
GK updated Commissioners on the upcoming meeting with the ICO and OFCOM which was to discuss how the DMC could be involved in investigations into companies who are breaching TPS regulations. RH would also be attending this meeting. GK also updated Commissioners on the recent DCMS Submission on nuisance calls.
5. COMPLAINTS UNDER THE DMA CODE OF PRACTICE
a. Breakdown of complaints – July-September 2013
SH reported on the breakdown of complaints for the months of July to September 2013. Complaints had included an enquiry which had been referred to the DMC from the DMA relating to a field marketing company. The DMA had received notice from a news programme which was researching complaints received against the company following two articles in a national newspapers over the last two years. Commissioners were agreed that the matter was, in essence, related to the member’s business model and HR structure rather than specific complaints from consumers or businesses in relation to its direct marketing activity. As such, it was agreed that no additional investigation was required at the present time.
SH updated Commissioners about a LWR registrant whose recent adjudication piece on the DMC website had led to correspondence from the registrant expressing concern that the adjudication would be available on the website indefinitely. This concern relating to the timescale of website adjudication statements had also been raised by a DMA member company on which the DMC had recently reached adjudication. Following discussion it was agreed that it was acceptable to retain adjudications on the website, as long as it is made clear online that complaints after a specific time would then enter the archive pages.
SH reported on recent complaints against a new member to the DMA. The member had requested a meeting with Commissioners, as it had received some complaints in relation to unaddressed mailings. The Commissioners agreed that a meeting could be set up, or they could attend our next DMC Board meeting should timing allow.
b. Update on previous adjudication SH updated the Commissioners following a previous adjudication on a member which had received complaints from TPS registrants about unwanted calls. JT updated Commissioners on a recent compliance meeting which had been undertaken following the adjudication, and the company had, as requested by the DMC, sent an initial letter outlining remedial action to be taken.
The company had expressed concern about the adjudication summary on the DMC website in terms of complaint numbers logged with TPS. It was agreed that clear evidence needed to be provided if there was any factual amendment to be made to the summary. SH would inform the company of this decision. Additionally, the member had asked if the DMC could add updates to the summary. SH had informed them that this was not our practice. Commissioners re-confirmed their decision that adjudication reports were reports of the adjudication and the reasoning for the decision of the Commission. As such the reports once published should not be the subject of revision to reflect events and actions subsequent to the adjudication.
c. Formal complaint for adjudication SH presented casework for a number of complaints received by both the Telephone Preference Service and the DMC from consumers who had received unwanted calls in relation to PPI miss-selling. The complaints were upheld in relation to breaching TPS regulations, taking responsibility for their suppliers and misleading consumers. A draft letter and adjudication piece would be prepared and circulated to Commissioners for comment.
Action Point: SH to circulate draft adjudication letter and website summary to Commissioners for approval.
6. ANNUAL REPORT 2012-13
The latest annual report for the DMC was now due. SH agreed to circulate questions for each of the Commissioners for which they could prepare a 200 word response to be published in the report.
Action Point: SH to circulate questions to Commissioners for 200 word response.
7. FUTURE OF DMA CODE
Update on Code GK updated and discussed with Commissioners, the latest developments on the DMA Code. The Commission and DMA need to agree a form of words to be annexed to the Code explaining the roles, practices and powers of the Commission.
DMC Provisions SH had circulated the draft DMC provisions to be annexed to the updated Code. Commissioners were asked to comment soonest so that the DMC annex could be incorporated.
Action Point: Commissioners to comment on draft DMC Code provisions
8. DIRECT MARKETING FOUNDATION – possible application
GK reported on recent potential initiatives which could be undertaken by the DMC with input from the DMA. DC said that he would follow this up with the DMA.
9. GENERAL MATTERS
a. DMA activities SH reported that at a recent DMA meeting, the profile of the DMC had been discussed. It had been suggested that the profile could be higher amongst membership through utilising DMA resources, such as e-newsletters. SH and GK would discuss this further with the DMA.
b. Governance: Compliance, Preference Services & Accreditation Report A report had been circulated to the Commissioners
10. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There was no other business.
11. FUTURE DATES 2013
Tuesday 26th November
10.30am at the DMA offices