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Direct Marketing Association, ISBA & NSPCC react to Government review over charity donation drives

Marketing bodies the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), the ISBA and the NSPCC have responded to the announcement of a government review to clamp down on charity donation drives.

The move, pledged by prime minister David Cameron on Saturday (11 July), followed the death of Olive Cooke who killed herself after being relentlessly pursued by many charities despite her already providing them substantial financial support.

Cameron stated that he would introduce new laws to ensure that charity fundraisers "acted properly" in future.

In response, Ian Twinn ISBA's director of public affairs told The Drum: "Whilst most of us would give charities and good causes some leeway it is crucial that all marketers remember two things; First always apply common sense. Ask if you would want your elderly Mum aggressively pursued for money. Secondly remember that EU and hence UK consumer protection law has in place extra special layers of protection for vulnerable people. By any definition of vulnerable the recent cases would be covered."

The DMA also released a statement when approached for a comment by The Drum: “Every company, whether a charity or not, has to respect the consumer in order to succeed. Trust has to be earned. When we asked consumers about their attitudes to privacy in ‘%E2%80%99">Data Privacy: what the consumer really thinks, released last week, charities fared well below banks, doctors, online retailers and government departments.

"Because trust is vital for growing any business, charities do need to do some work to rebuild trust. Looking at what the law allows is not enough. Just because something is legal does not mean that this is the right standard of behaviour.

"">Our Code and channel-specific guides are designed to show exactly how marketers should manage their one-to-one communications. We have also produced ">a guide to buying and selling data as well as ">guidance for dealing with vulnerable consumers which would encourage all marketers to follow. Of course companies should also screen their data against the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) and Telephone Preference Service."

A spokesperson for the NSPCC commented: "We welcome stronger regulation that helps raise essential funds for important causes with public confidence. We look forward to engaging with Sir Stuart Etherington's review where we can help."

Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, will head up the review and consider whether the introduction of further powers to regulate charity donation drives is necessary.