Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

Data & Marketing Commission | Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

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DMC Annual Report 2021-22 22nd November, 2022

“Our industry must use complaint feedback to enhance data privacy learning for SMEs when UK GDPR is reformed”

Comments by Chief Commissioner, Amerdeep Somal, following the publication of the Data & Marketing Commission’s (DMC) 2021-22 Annual Report.

The Data & Marketing Commission’s (DMC) Chief Commissioner, Amerdeep Somal, issues comments about how regulators can help businesses, especially SMEs, when UK data protection laws reform – following the publication of the DMC Annual Report 2021-22.

The DMC’s plans are progressing to become an accredited Monitoring Body for the ICO with an enhanced remit to enforce the Data & Marketing Association’s (DMA UK) Industry Code. It is hoped that this Monitoring Body status will be achieved by early 2023.

“The DMC is working closely with the ICO to help change perceptions of regulators, so we are not just seen as regulation enforcers, but also as free knowledge hubs for businesses and consumers. The DMC believes there is a great opportunity to create industry-wide feedback reports more frequently with additional best practice learnings, to further support the business community through both challenging and uncertain times,” said Amerdeep Somal, Chief Commissioner of the DMC.

The DMC believes the marketing industry must bring education to the forefront and share learnings from investigations to improve industry practices. This will help create an environment where businesses and marketers are encouraged to learn and increase the flow and exchange of information.

“Annual Reports like ours and the ICO’s are a great resource for business learning through their evidence-based reporting and unique industry insights. The reports provide timely insights into industry issues to help businesses learn from common mistakes, helping to prevent expensive legal costs and reduce training fees which can be a huge burden on businesses, especially SMEs. For these reasons, our industry must use complaint feedback more to enhance data privacy learning for SMEs when UK GDPR is reformed.”

Number of complaints against industry declines

In the year ranging from July 2021 to June 2022, overall complaints against the marketing industry declined. Although the DMC reported an increase in the percentage of customer service complaints, rising to 31% (up from 18%). Most of the complaints received still relate to data, privacy, and quality (62%), with contractual (8%) problems making up the remainder. The total number of complaints against non-DMA members declined by 44% this year.

For the second year running, the DMC investigated fewer complaints involving members of the DMA during this period – falling by 25% when compared to the previous year’s total. Member complaints amounted to nearly a quarter of the total number of complaints (24%).

“Not only have complaints against DMA Members continued to decline year-on-year, but we have also observed a sharp decline against non-DMA Members too. This is likely due to growing awareness by organisations about their obligation to their customers to be transparent and respectful. However, with UK data protection laws due to reform soon, businesses must stay vigilant, engaged, and responsible – ready to embrace the reforms with the help of regulators like the DMC,” added Somal.

Organisations that are not members of the DMA, were referred by the DMC to other statutory or self-regulatory bodies.

Full details on the complaints, investigations, and more thoughts from the DMC’s Commissioners are available in the full Annual Report, available here: https://www.dmcommission.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/DMC-Annual-Report-2021-22-Final-1.pdf

For further enquiries contact suzi.higman@dmcommission.com

https://www.dmcommission.com

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DMC appoints Independent Appeals Commissioner 1st November, 2022

Steve Wood has been named as the new Independent Appeals Commissioner of the Data & Marketing Commission (DMC) – the industry body that oversees and enforces the DMA Code

When the DMC concludes that a member is in breach of the DMA Code, a member can appeal against the ruling, or any sanctions imposed.  The Independent Appeals Commissioner will be expected to consider an appeal when lodged by a member company of the DMA or in future by a signatory organisation to the GDPR Code or by a complainant which has had complaints upheld by the DMC.

Steve, whose tenure will commence on 1st January 2023, is an Independent consultant, researcher & writer who has his own company, PrivacyX Consulting and was former Deputy Commissioner at the Information Commissioner’s Office.  He will be replacing the DMC’s long-standing Appeals Commissioner, John Bridgeman CBE TD DL who is retiring this year.

Led by the Chief Commissioner, Ms Amerdeep Somal, the DMC investigates and adjudicates on reported breaches of the DMA Code by members of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA).  It is also now in the process of becoming a Monitoring Body for the Information Commissioner’s Office following approval of an industry GDPR Code.

The DMC also has a further extended remit in support of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with complaints by consumers in relation to data and in particular Legitimate Interest and related matters.  

Amerdeep Somal stated, “I am delighted to welcome Steve Wood as the new Independent Appeals Commissioner. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be invaluable in his crucial role as the independent Appeal function against decisions made by the DMC. I also sincerely thank John Bridgeman CBE TD DL for his many years of service as the first Independent Appeals Commissioner and I am grateful for his wonderful work legacy.”

For further information contact:

Suzi Higman, DMC – suzi.higman@dmcommission.com

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DMC appoints Independent Complaints Assessor 1st November, 2022

Richard Thompson has been named as the new Independent Complaints Assessor of the Data & Marketing Commission (DMC) – the industry body that oversees and enforces the DMA Code

The Independent Complaints Assessor can consider complaints about the standard of service provided by the DMC.  This covers the practical handling of a case – but not disagreements about its outcome.  There is a separate service for appealing case rulings and sanctions.

Richard is an Executive Director responsible for leading strategic approach and operational delivery of high-volume casework, quality assurance and customer excellence.  He is an accredited commercial mediator with 25 years’ experience in regulation, complaint handling and dispute resolution.  His tenure will commence on 1st January 2023.

Led by the Chief Commissioner, Amerdeep Somal, the DMC investigates and adjudicates on reported breaches of the DMA Code by members of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA).  It is also now in the process of becoming a Monitoring Body for the Information Commissioner’s Office following approval of an industry GDPR Code.

The DMC also has a further extended remit in support of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with complaints by consumers in relation to data and in particular Legitimate Interest and related matters.  

Amerdeep Somal stated, “I am delighted to welcome Richard Thompson as the first Independent Complaints Assessor to the DMC. He will bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and challenge to the DMC.”

For further information contact:

Suzi Higman, DMC – suzi.higman@dmcommission.com

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Vacancy – Independent Commissioner 1st October, 2022

Location: London

Approximately 7-10 days p/a

Salary: £5,250 p/a plus reasonable expenses

Closing Date: 1st December 2022

The Data & Marketing Commission (DMC) is the body which oversees and enforces the Data & Marketing Association (DMA)’s Code.  The Code and DMC are there to give effective protection to recipients, users and practitioners of the data driven marketing sector. It aims to ensure companies observe the highest standards of integrity and trade fairly with their customers and with each other.  This is achieved by investigating complaints and identifying trends in data driven marketing that might raise issues for consumers and the sector. The DMA are looking to appoint a new Independent Commissioner as the current incumbent’s term is due to expire.  The term would be for three years, renewable once. 

Historically the DMC has adjudicated against complaints about DMA members only but it is now in the process of becoming a Monitoring Body for the Information Commissioners’ Office following approval of an industry GDPR Code of Conduct. The DMC also has a further extended remit in support of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with complaints by consumers in relation to data and in particular Legitimate Interest and related matters.  

The Independent Commissioner will need to have experience in a senior strategic role within regulation or governance, and to have a broad understanding of regulatory principles, process and practice.  As a key player in the ongoing development of the new DMC as a Monitoring Body, the Independent Commissioner will need to show demonstrable experience of strategy development, strategic planning, risk and high-performance management, with the ability to scrutinise and monitor at a senior level. It would be desirable for the candidate to have experience in or have the ability to interrogate annual budgets and the ongoing financial management of the DMC.

Duties

The Independent Commissioner will be expected to attend a minimum of four meetings a year held at the DMA’s offices, attend adjudications, and review and process case and other paperwork relating to these meetings as well as assist in the ongoing development of the new DMC.

The Independent Commissioner will also be expected to represent the DMC at DMA meetings and other events and meetings as required.

Qualities

  • Sound judgement and analytical skills
  • Ability to digest and make good sense of complex cases
  • Able to scrutinise and monitor at a senior level
  • Ability to understand the legal context in which an adjudication is required
  • Ability to work and debate effectively
  • To adjudicate, acting objectively

For a full Job Description and how to apply please email dm@dmcommission.com.

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DMC appoints new Industry Commissioners 2nd September, 2022

Robert Bond and Gilbert Hill have been named as the two new Industry Commissioners of the Data & Marketing Commission (DMC) – the industry body that oversees and enforces the DMA Code

Led by the Chief Commissioner, Amerdeep Somal, the DMC investigates and adjudicates on reported breaches of the DMA Code by members of the Data & Marketing Association (DMA).  It is also now in the process of becoming an Independent Monitoring Body for the Information Commissioners’ Office following approval of an industry GDPR Code.

The DMC also has a further extended remit in support of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) with complaints by consumers in relation to data and in particular Legitimate Interest and related matters.  

The team of Commissioners work to ensure responsible marketing and ethical marketing practices are maintained.

Amerdeep Somal stated “I am delighted to welcome Robert and Gilbert to the DMC and the wealth of experience each will bring to the organisation.  I would like to thank Fedelma Good and Charles Ping, our Industry Commissioners, who will shortly be leaving us, having served their terms.  The insight and wisdom they have brought to the DMC has been of immense importance and benefit.”

DMC’s new Industry Commissioners  

Robert Bond, a Solicitor & Notary Public and a Compliance & Ethics Professional who is due to start his tenure on 1st September said:

“I am honoured and delighted to be appointed as an Industry Commissioner. I will do my best to emulate the high standards set by Fedelma Good and Charles Ping.”

Gilbert, a privacy technologist, speaker and entrepreneur, currently Chief Strategy Officer at Pool Data and commencing his tenure on 1st December this year said:

“In a time of unprecedented change and opportunity in our industry, the DMC is a highly respected arbiter of responsible marketing and I look forward to helping expand its influence and remit in the  role of Industry Commissioner.”

For further information contact:

Suzi Higman, DMC – suzi.higman@dmcommission.com

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DMC supports ASA as advisory panel 30th May, 2019

George Kidd, Chief Commissioner:

We are pleased to confirm the DMC will be supporting the ASA in relation to complaints relating to data use and particularly any issues around the legitimate interest grounds that can be referenced under GDPR.  The DMC has years of experience in dealing with issues of data supply chains and the consents or other grounds that will give them the possibility of consulting the DMC as an advisory panel.  This strengthens the self-regulatory arrangements that complement the ICO by helping address consumer concerns quickly and ensure high compliance.

https://www.asa.org.uk/transparency/who-we-are-and-what-we-do.html

(Information on the partnership under Organisations with Whom We Work in Partnership)

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