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Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

News

News

Cold-calling: DMC investigations 2nd July, 2012

The DMC investigates any complaints against DMA members. They give effect to the DMA Code – which exists to set standards across the sector and drive up compliance by member and non-member firms.

A DMC ruling, particularly a ruling that a firm should be removed from DMA membership can have a huge effect on that company’s ability to win and keep business. This can be far more dramatic than any fine. But the DMC sees itself as a part of the compliance world, not the only solution. The DMC brings all of its serious self-regulatory decisions to the attention of the ICO and other statutory regulators offering them every assistance if further action seems necessary.

We believe the DMC could support the TPS in taking a more active role, working with those who may be in breach of TPS rules and bring them up to standard. This happens with self-regulation in advertising, and is seen as a valuable supplement to the rules and laws that exist in statute, but where statutory bodies struggle to take preventative action on any real scale. This requires planning, funding and will-power; but is eminently achievable and would drive down the huge amounts of public frustration seen today.

It would be inappropriate for DMC to comment on cases currently under investigation. Previous adjudications, including two relating to termination and suspension of DMA membership can be found at http://www.dmcommission.com/adjudications/list-of-adjudications/.

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There is value in virtue – do your homework when using data lists 2nd July, 2012

The issue of the supplier/client relationship is a recurring theme in the Commission’s caseload. We regularly receive complaints from businesses who have ordered data from a supplier and found, having undertaken their direct marketing campaign, that the data sold was inaccurate, out of date, or did not match their criteria for a specific target market.

We also see complaints from people unhappy at being contacted by companies for marketing purposes. The contact may have been made ‘in good faith’ by companies who did not make the necessary checks on their suppliers to ensure that the people targeted had either opted in or opted out to receive that marketing contact.

We think it is important everyone involved in supplying and using data should do their homework – ensuring the information they are using is current, accurate,  in line with what was ordered and that the data takes proper account of the preferences of the public – in terms of opting into or out of marketing.

George Kidd, Chief Commissioner says: “Companies should have sufficient mechanisms  in place to test the data provided and validate the source and freshness of the data offered by their suppliers before they then use that data or sell it on to others. If companies do this, they can be confident of the data they trade and of complying with the DMA Code and regulations.

We welcome the attention this issue gets from the DMA and the valuable guidance the DMA makes available to members.

We believe there is “value in virtue”: marketing that reflects people’s preferences, matches people’s expectations and interests and is up to date and accurate is going to achieve higher response and conversation rates.”

Compliance is good for business as well as the soul!!

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