National Helpline pulls email marketing and calls for industry to crack down on nuisance calls

By Jessica Davies | News Editor

December 2, 2014 | 3 min read

National Accident Helpline has pulled all its email marketing to prospective customers as it looks to crack down on nuisance calls in the sector and distance itself from the practice.

The brand will reinvest all its email marketing spend into digital brand marketing, having conducted consumer research which highlighted people find that form of communications distressing.

More than half (56 per cent) of repsondents in its 2,000-strong survey of UK adults, said they find cold calls upsetting, while 40 per cent receive more than nine cold calls on their landline each month.

It also revealed 70 per cent of people think the ‘tick-box’ system used on websites and online forms are misleading, and “trick” people into sharing their contact details.

The company has also called for the whole industry to treat opt-ins “more responsibly” citing the current regulatory framework around email campaigns as “weak”.

Meanwhile the move, which marks the latest step in its ongoing Stop Nuisance Calls campaign, has also seen it seek the support of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and Ministry of Justice to help it combat the ongoing issue of nuisance calls.

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In doing so it hopes to stamp out email marketing in the personal injury sector, regardless of whether it is “technically compliant” with current regulations, or in the form of illegal spamming.

Currently law states that a company can only be prosecuted for cold calling if it has been shown to be causing “substantial damage or distress”.

Over half of the UK public received cold calls from international numbers in the past 12 months, and the company has stated that, although impossible to track, trace and cease cold call activity overseas, cutting off demand in the UK would help curb the practice.

National Accident Helpline chief executive Russell Atkinson said the decision to cease email marketing has been made to encourage the rest of the industry to unite in combatting the practice.

“To really see change wthin the industry and have a positive impact on people’s lives, this stance has to become the new industry norm, not the exception.

“National Accident Helpline puts the consumer at the heart of everything we do. We have never cold called, but previously found email to be a positive way of reaching consumers. In recent months, however, we had a growing concern that even though all our emails were compliant with current opt-in rules, consumers are simply fed up with marketing emails filling up their inboxes.

“Cold calling and non-compliant email marketing in the personal injury sector only exists because there are lawyers and claims companies fuelling the demand for these illegal leads. It is our intention to drive these practices out of the system.

“As this is an issue that we feel so passionate about, we want to work alongside industry regulators to promote these high standards. We will also be sharing the findings of this research with the Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid, to pressure the Government to speed up reform in this vital area,” he said.

The brand worked with Populus and Survey Monkey on the survey.


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