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.”

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