Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

Data & Marketing Commission




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.


Where the DMC concludes that a member is in breach of the Code, the member is entitled to appeal against that ruling, as well as against any sanctions imposed by the DMC to the Independent Appeals Commissioner (IAC).

On the application of the member, the DMC has the discretion to not implement any sanctions imposed until all appeal mechanisms have been exhausted.

Members must submit an appeal in writing to the IAC within 14 days of the DMC communicating their decision.

The IAC will only consider an appeal on one or more of the following grounds:

  • The decision was based on a material error of fact.
  • Substantial and material new evidence has emerged affecting the reliability of the original decision that was not available at the original adjudication.
  • The decision was reached following a material error in the DMC procedures, which has adversely affected the member’s position.
  • The DMC has acted ultra vires (beyond its powers).
  • The sanction imposed is not proportionate.

Where the IAC agrees to consider an appeal, that decision will be communicated by notice to the member within 30 days of submission of the appeal. From this notice, the IAC then has a period of eight weeks in which to consider the appeal.

Where the IAC finds in favour of the member, they will refer the decision back to the DMC and invite it to reconsider its findings or the sanction imposed.

Where a decision by the DMC has been found to be perverse, the IAC will make their own decision. This will be final and binding on all parties.

The DMC must consider a case redirected by the IAC within 30 days of his decision. Once the DMC has either confirmed or substituted its earlier decision, that decision shall be final and binding on all parties.

Please note that Appeal Submissions require an ‘argued’ case from the member identifying the grounds that are listed and the arguments in relation to those grounds.

For further details  please contact the Secretariat on