Embrace all opt-out services

Could an organisation that promises to “stop 99.9% of nuisance marketing straight away” be of value to direct marketers?

The Anti-Marketing group, which has the less than cordial web address, is dedicated to the “elimination of unwanted sales calls and junk mail”.

The site’s bullish tone contrasts with the language used by opt-out services such as the direct mail industry funded Mail Preference Service (MPS) and sister organisation the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

The former enables consumers to have their names and home addresses removed from up to 95% of lists used by the industry, while the latter, which sets no target, is a central opt-out register for consumers who do not want to receive unsolicited sales and marketing phone calls.  

The Anti-Marketing Group’s vow that customers will see immediate results also contrasts with the both the MPS and TPS. The former says it takes four months for consumer requests to be removed from data lists to take effect, and the 28 days required to action requests made through the TPS.

But the promise of immediate action comes at a cost, £3 a month, £29.99 a year or a £59.99 one-off fee for lifetime membership.

The group claims that the premium is paid because its subscribers see better results than those that use the MPS and TPS, adding that its users “are so resistant to marketing that they are willing to pay a small premium for an extensive service to stop it.”

There is also concern among some direct marketers, data and media owners about the methods the Anti-Marketing Group uses in their bid to achieve their target and mutterings about a lack of transparency and no proof of effectiveness.

Umbrage is also taken at the Group’s vague at best promise to file consumers’ details “with a number of different schemes dedicated to stopping companies being able to contact you”.

But such disquiet is unnecessary. As long as the services such as The Anti-Marketing Group are operating legitimately, and there is no hard evidence that I have seen to suggest otherwise, then the industry should approach them with the same attitude that they do the less aggressive in tone TPS and MPS.

All opt-out services, be it sanctioned or otherwise, offer direct marketers the same opportunity: to filter out the unresponsive by

identifying and removing consumers who would be irked by a call or a piece of mail.

The Anti-Marketing Group and its ilk is a home for people who have taken it upon themselves to join an anti-DM crusade and really should not be on prospect lists in the first place.  

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