New Direct Marketing Guidelines Take Effect

The 1st September 2010 saw the release of several important new guidelines and codes of practice for those involved in direct marketing in the UK.

Firstly the 12th edition of The UK Code of Non-Broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP Code) came into force. The code is in effect a new rule book for the content of direct marketing campaigns, and is overseen by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), a self-regulatory body that creates, revises and enforces the Code. There are specific areas of the Code which now apply to direct marketing and children, privacy, political advertising, misleading selling and environmental or green claims. More information on the Code can be found at the Committee of Advertising Practice website.

In parallel to the launch of the new CAP Code, the UK Direct Marketing Association has also updated its DM Code of Practice. Now on its fourth edition, the DM Code of Practice is a key component of the direct marketing industry’s self-regulatory framework, which staves off excessive regulatory clampdowns by legislators. While it has no statutory power, DMA members are required to adhere to the DM Code. To ensure compliance, the DM Code is upheld by the industry’s independent self-regulatory body, the Direct Marketing Commission.

For the first time the DM Code of Practice sets out a series of guidelines concerning the use of data hygiene, making environmental claims in marketing materials, sourcing of sustainable paper, certification in environmental standards such as PAS 2020, adhering to a corporate environmental policy and using recycling messages on printed materials.

Both new sets of guidelines repeat the need to ensure that clean and accurate data is used in direct marketing campaigns, and encourage marketers to use effective data and list cleansing services.