BBC sacks Proximity for data inaccuracies

The BBC has sacked direct marketing agency Proximity for sending out inaccurate statistical information in letters relating to TV licensing. The public broadcaster is now re-tendering the business.

Proximity was stood down following an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph, which followed a viewer complained that he had received two letters on the same date from the TV licensing division, which contained conflicting data.

While one letter stated that there had been 33,781 licence fee evaders caught in the previous month, another letter on the same date used the figure 69,838.

The BBC has now confirmed that some statistics used between January 2006 to November 2008 were inaccurate.

Proximity has either sacked or taken disciplinary action against staff that had worked on the business, but the agency would not confirm if it would be involved in the re-tender process.

In a statement, Proximity says: “We apologise for the unacceptable data inaccuracies which occurred due to human error in the regional evader data quoted in some TV Licensing mailings.

“We have conducted a full investigation in co-operation with the BBC and steps have already been taken to eliminate the problem. Those responsible for the data errors have left Proximity or face disciplinary action. Proximity will cooperate fully with the contract re-tender process.”

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