Top direct marketer arrested for deception

Direct Marketing Association West chairman Ian Hughes has been arrested and charged with obtaining a money transfer by deception.

A leading member of the direct marketing community, Hughes, who is also the managing director of Bristol-based Consumer Intelligence, was arrested on August 9 and bailed pending further enquiries. He was rearrested last Friday and will appear at Bristol Magistrates Court today (Wednesday).

Hughes, aged 38, of Westbury Park, Bristol, has worked in the marketing industry for 16 years, starting his career at Marks & Spencer, before becoming chief marketing officer at delivery solutions company MM Group.

He founded eCharity.com in the US, before returning to the UK to launch customer service performance measurement company Direct Excellence, which operates a benchmarking scheme for financial services companies. Hughes, son of the chairman of Mail Marketing International John Hughes, is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct Marketing and sits on the board of the DMA.

Consumer Intelligence is a financial services analyst whose clients include Direct Line, NatWest and Tesco Personal Finance. The company gathers information on price, service and customer satisfaction through a combination of in-house mystery shopping teams and external consumer panels.

A spokesman for the DMA confirms that Hughes is still chairman of the West division.

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