Direct Mail Code of Practice

New Direct Mail code of practice aims for ‘compliance plus’

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A newly revised DMA code of practice focuses on needs above and beyond compliance.

August 2014 saw the launch of the DMA’s revised code of conduct – aimed at improving the effectiveness and public perception of direct mail at a time when public concerns about ‘junk mail’ and the misuse of data are a concern to the general public.

The Direct Marketing Association is the UK’s foremost body for the direct mail sector and offers a wide variety of services for members including lobbying, compliance and advice of Direct Mail campaigns. Their revised Code of Conduct is aimed to take members beyond the levels of compliance required by legislation, advertising bodies and data protection organisations to enable a service that adds value to recipients of Direct Mail.

The introduction to the Code

Under the hero principle ‘Put your customer first’, the Code promotes the evolution of one-to-one style marketing as an exchange of value between your business, looking to prosper, and your customer, looking to benefit.

The executive director of the DMA, Chris Combemale, spoke at the launch of the new code, describing how the intention was to create something which truly fulfilled the customer’s expectations, rather than simply completing another box-ticking exercise. Mr Combemale raised the subject of self-regulation and discussed why it was necessary to go above and beyond what was required simply to comply with the law.

By developing five main principles, the new Code exceeds what companies must do to operate legally, striving instead to create a more cohesive and genuine relationship with the customer, treating everyone with absolute respect and integrity. The executive director said that the aim of the Code was to provide “commercial success” to the business without sacrificing the trust of the customer.

The Code was developed by the DMA after extensive consultation with a number of other bodies including government agencies and departments such as Ofcom, the Ministry of Justice, The Information Commissioner’s Office and the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Non-governmental advice and contributions were also sought, from both practitioners and industry stakeholders. The DM Commission, the independent watchdog for the industry will be responsible for enforcing the Code in the future.

The twelve page code includes such headings as:

  • Respect privacy
  • Be honest and fair
  • Be diligent with data
  • Take responsibility

It also lists almost seventy pieces of legislation that can potentially affect any direct mail campaign.

The DMA Code of Practice can be accessed here.

Give us a call at Baker Goodchild to discuss any aspect of the Direct Mail industry, we have a range of solutions to offer which will be ideal to drive your business sales and marketing forward.

Image Credit: Howard Lake

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