GDPR Direct Marketing Association Marketing

Data fears drive direct marketing complaints through 2017


By John Glenday, Reporter

January 29, 2018 | 3 min read

A new report analyzing what sparked consumer criticisms directed toward the Direct Marketing Association members has established that data concerns drove the majority complaints throughout 2017.

Direct Marketing

Data fears drive direct marketing complaints through 2017

Privacy and quality of data were the leading causes of angst according to the DM Commission’s annual report which found that over the course of 2016 some 35 fines were issued totaling £3,245,500 – close to double the figure recorded in 2015.

That rising trend looks set to continue this year ahead of the impending enforcement of General Data Protection Regulations over the next few months, which could lumber UK companies with even heavier fines should they fail to get their act together on data.

In all the commission looked at 39 complaints pertaining to members, of which 69% related to data, privacy and quality – many of which could be traced back to the transfer of data along complex supply chains, enabling situations where a lack of consent could be overlooked.

George Kidd, chief commissioner of the DM Commission, said: “While the volume of complaints remains low the challenges with data and consents across lengthy value-chains are a cause for concern. Here, as with other issues, we seek to balance our responsibility for dealing with the behaviours with individual businesses with the need to look at where and why there is an issue, and to work with the DMA on policy responses across the board, and not just the individual complaint and member company.”

Last year commissioners conducted formal investigations into two businesses, one of which was found to be operating in contravention of the DMA Code.

Marketers are being offered a range of new tools to meet consent challenges presented by GDPR.

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