The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has moved to protect itself against attacks from regulators by quantifying the industry’s contribution to the UK economy.

• An analysis of 600 companies commissioned by the trade body claims that almost a quarter (23%) of all sales last year were attributable to direct marketing

• The research (published 31st July) also revealed a projected growth of 7% in the direct marketing industry in 2012… just days after the Government announced that the UK economy had shrunk by 0.7% in thesecond quarter of the year.

According to the findings of the DMA’s inaugural Putting a price on direct marketing study, UK businesses reported spending £14.2 billion on direct marketing in 2011 and forecast their expenditure to increase by 7% in 2012 to nearly £15.2 billion.

Direct marketing-generated sales, sector-by- sector:

• Travel and leisure 32.10%

• Retail and wholesale 29.70%

• Financial services 28.18%

• Telecommunications and utilities 22.11%

• Charities/ other services 21.49%

• Business/ professional services 19.73%

• Primary manufacturing and construction 14.60%.

The DMA hopes by valuing the industry’s worth, its lobbying efforts in Westminster and Brussels will be strengthened. The Association is pushing hard for changes to EU proposals on data protection that will require brands to gain explicit consent from consumers to use their personal data for campaigns.

The report, carried out by Future Foundation, estimates that the proposals will cost each company £76,000 in lost sales, which will leave a £47bn hole in the UK economy.

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