Advertisers lobby Govt over Electoral Register data

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has written to the Prime Minister’s Office expressing concern that direct marketers may no longer have access to data on the Electoral Register.

This follows the recent Data Sharing Review, commissioned by the Government and conducted by the Information Commissioner Richard Thomas, which recommended removal of the provision allowing the sale of the edited register.

In a letter to Stephen Carter, the Prime Minister’s chief special adviser and former Ofcom chief executive, ISBA’s media and advertising director Bob Wootton says that “losing access to the register would mean direct marketers relying on less accurate sources of data and an increasing amount of wrongly addressed mail”.

“This would undermine current environmental initiatives and would be at odds with the Review’s objectives,” Wootton says.

ISBA says that currently, the register offers a database of “high integrity” with a very high percentage of “robust information”, providing marketers with a source of data which is used extensively for database cleaning, thereby ensuring that mailings are effectively targeted and accurately addressed.

Wootton adds that “a ban on the use of the register might also generate difficulties because direct marketers would no longer be able to use it to ensure compliance with the Data Protection Act.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here