New DMA Code in force today: what you need to know

New DMA Code in force today: what you need to know

Today sees the coming into force of a new code of practice by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

If you or your clients are a DMA member the new Code will need to be complied with as a condition of membership.

And the new principles are?

The fourth edition of Code sets out the following principles:

  • put your customers first
  • respect privacy
  • be honest and fair
  • be diligent with data, and
  • take responsibility

Against each of these principles the Code then sets out a handful of desirable outcomes.

For example, customers receiving 'marketing information that is relevant to them' and which reflects 'their preferences' is a stated outcome against the principle of 'putting customers first'. Each of the five principles and outcomes fills a succinct A4 page.

So far so reasonable.

Even so, for many in the business, the very mention of the 'compliance' can bring them out in hives. The DMA seems to recognise this. It states, in a refreshingly honest way,

It may not be the most thrilling side of marketing, but following the highest standards of best practice is vital to the success of your business.

The change is not without its challenges though. Do not mistake brevity of content for an easing of the compliance burden.

So what does this change mean in practice?

Undoubtedly, the move from the previous regime of more detailed guidance to a rulebook based on principles will be tricky for some businesses.

We spoke with

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