Companies that use direct marketing can successfully regulate themselves and should not be wholly subject to government monitoring, the industry’s leading trade organisation has announced.
Criticisms over companies that distribute ‘junk mail’ to households have flared up in recent weeks following the story of a Royal Mail postman who distributed letters telling people how to opt out of receiving flyers and similar generic mail.
However, trade organisation the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has entered the fray, saying that the direct marketing strategies of its members who include several large marketing and communications agencies have had great success with the public.
According to the DMA, some £107 billion in sales was generated in the UK last year through direct marketing, and that 814,000 people owed their jobs to the industry.
David Metcalfe of DMA Scotland told the Scotsman: “We have a set of compliance standards – our best practice guidelines – that all our members need to meet and we go out and check they are doing so.
“We want these to be adopted more widely and we are always looking for new members who will need to take up the best practice as well.”
The DMA said direct marketing was becoming more successful as it grew increasingly targeted towards interested customers.
More companies were compiling information on households’ shopping habits and preferences, he said, reducing the amount of unnecessary mail received each year.