Closing the lid on ‘junk mail’

Lucy Barrett raises some very important issues in her direct marketing report (MW July 27), particularly in relation to the role agencies play in combating negative consumer attitudes to direct mail. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) strives to enhance consumer trust and confidence in direct marketing by implementing national consumer awareness campaigns about data privacy issues, such as “It’s Your Choice”, and promoting the safeguards that exist already such as the mail, telephone, fax and e-mail preference services.

We have also raised the bar further by introducing a DMA compliance unit and updated Code of Practice – and make no mistake, action will be taken against any member who continues to ignore their obligations under this code.

It is clear, however, that this is still not enough to overcome the tide of criticism levelled at direct mailers and, as Lucy Barrett points out, there is a need for the DMA to raise the stakes even further.

As such, we have spent the past six months preparing for the launch of the biggest consumer awareness campaign that the direct marketing industry has ever seen. In coming weeks, announcements will be made across the industry and national media that intend to show our harshest critics that we do indeed take consumer attitudes to “junk mail” seriously and will not shy away from the challenges ahead.

We cannot do it on our own, however. So over the coming weeks and months, the DMA is calling on every person and organisation that has a vested interest in ensuring the sustainable growth of the direct marketing industry to play their part. From clients through to agencies, data suppliers, printers, mailing houses and even the industry press, you cannot afford not to support us in our cause.

James Kelly

Managing director

Direct Marketing Association (UK)

London W1

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