Personal data is becoming the battleground for digital marketing regulation.

The latest report issued from the UK’s Direct Marketing Commission (DMC) shows how industry self-regulation improves standards. However, consumer concerns about the use of personal data continue to rise.

• The report revealed that between 1 April 2011 and 31 March this year over three quarters of complaints made to the organisation were regarding data, privacy and quality issues.

• There were also many complaints from businesses who have outsourced their data from a supplier and found the data was inaccurate, out of date or was not their target market … having conducted their direct marketing campaign.

George Kidd, Chief Commissioner DMC, said that one of the biggest issues this year relates to the public’s clear frustration if their wishes are not respected. This was most obvious in those who registered with the Telephone Preference Service… yet continued to receive unwanted cold-calls.

David Coupe, Industry Member DMC, went on to urge businesses to “check, check, check” the source of the data used in any campaign, while also getting a realistic expectation about the level of response.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and DMC will be working together over the coming year to ensure they help industry members better understand the benefits of complying with the DM Code of Practice and ensure it is applied in a fair and reasonable manner.

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