Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

Data & Marketing Commission | Enforcing Higher Industry Standards



DMC Annual Report – 2018/19 22nd April, 2020

“We are pleased to share our latest Annual Report of the Data & Marketing Commission. If there is a message running through the report it is one of partnership: partnership with the DMA as the author of the Code and partnership with fellow regulators of data, privacy and marketing practice. This becomes ever more important as  technology enables amazing innovation that goes beyond the understanding people have of how information about them is collected, built on and interpreted when offers are then put before them.”

Please see here for a copy of the 2018-19 Annual Report

George Kidd, Chief Commissioner

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Postra Communications Ltd (t/a – complaints about direct marketing 20th April, 2020

The DMC investigated complaints from two businesses who had ordered a door drop delivery. Neither complainants were satisfied that the deliveries had been carried out adequately and they had both described their relationship with the member as strongly lacking in terms of engagement, responses and assurance that their leaflets had been delivered.

In the materials provided by the complainants, the DMC could not find any evidence to show that Postra Communications had been clear and transparent with its two clients.  It appeared that the clients had made multiple attempts to make contact so that they could be assured their deliveries were to be carried out as agreed and ordered. The material seen clearly indicated a reluctance or inability to share information on delivery schedules or evidence of completed deliveries. In the absence of any meaningful responses to the DMC or the clients on the matters raised it seemed appropriate to conclude Postra misled customers over performance under the contracts in question and that the deliveries were not adequately fulfilled.

The DMC did not think that Postra had complied with any of the key principles which asks members to value their customers, to act in accordance with their expectations, to be honest, fair and transparent and to act responsibly at all times. The DMC considered that Postra was in breach of the following rules set out in the DMA Code because it did not give the DMC any reason to believe that it had adhered to them.

2.1 Companies must not mislead customers; companies must be clear, open and transparent.

4.1 Members must act decently, fairly and reasonably, fulfilling their contractual obligations at all times.

4.6 Members must maintain adequate records to demonstrate compliance with the Code – and must maintain an adequate system of monitoring and audit.

4.8 Members must at all times give prompt, efficient and courteous service to customers – and must ensure they have in place adequate administrative procedures and resources to achieve this.

The lack of engagement and responses to Postra‚Äôs two clients was also mirrored in its lack of engagement with the DMC process.  The DMC did not think Postra had co-operated fully with its investigations or enquiries and had ignored frequent approaches.  The DMC found a breach of rule 4.9 in the DMA Code which states: 

Members must accept the jurisdiction of the Data & Marketing Commission (DMC) and co-operate fully with their investigations or enquiries. Members must comply with any conclusion reached by the DMC, including any decision to take disciplinary action resulting from a breach of the Code.

The DMC reached the view that Postra had shown itself unconcerned by a failure to meet contractual commitments, with failures thereafter to engage with clients or in any meaningful way with the DMC. Commissioners saw nothing to show the company was committed to complying with the DMA Code and the DMA principles.

The DMC would recommend to the DMA Board that it considers removing Postra from membership of the Association.

The DMA Board approved and the member has now been removed from membership.

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