Data Protection and the Law

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While this is not the place to go into lengthy technical detail [and things change], there are considerations to be borne in mind regarding the legal aspects of data protection. The Direct marketing Association [UK} Limited {DMA} describes itself as Europes’s largest trade association in the marketing and communications sector, with approximately 900 corporate members and positioned in the top 5 per cent of UK trade associations by income.

It represents both advertisers, who market their products using direct marketing techniques, and specialist suppliers of direct marketing services to those advertisers – for example, advertising agencies, outsourced contact centres, etc. The DMA also administers the mailing Preference Service. the telephone Preference Service and the Fax Preference Service.

On behalf of its membership, the DMA promotes best practice, through its Direct Marketing Code of Practice, in order to maintain and enhance consumers ‘Direct Marketing Association is an independent b ody that monitors industry compliance. It may be worth readers visiting their website, www.dma.org.uk, for further in formation.

The industry they represent is huge: the total value of direct marketing to the UK economy was estimated to be £9.1 billion in 2011. This comprimises three separate figures: £4.3 billion on expenditure on direct marketing media and activities, £1.1 billion on goods and services bought in by companies to enab le the undertaking of direct marketing activity and £3.7 billion through the spending of people employed in the industry as consumers {‘Putting a Price on Direct marketing’. The DMA, July 2012].

I asked thye what key factors direct mailers need to be aware of regarding the Data Protection Act 1998; they listed the following [NB: reference to sections and principles can lead you to the full text of the Act, though a summary should suffice]:

Reference:Direct marketing in a Week: Patrick Forsyth