Callcredit Information Group has taken the unprecedented step of suspending one of its biggest customer databases – holding details on over 46 million UK consumers – following fears it could fall foul of last September’s landmark ruling on consent for electronic marketing data.
The Define database, claimed to be the “largest, most accurate and most verified consumer database of its kind”, will no longer be available for prospecting by telephone, email and SMS until it meets new standards the firm is introducing.
However, clients will still be able to continue to use Define where they hold consent by other means, CRM and direct mail campaigns as well as for analytics and insight purposes.
The decision follows careful scrutiny of the Information Commissioner’s Office’s guidance on direct marketing and last year’s ruling by the First-Tier Information Rights Tribunal, which effectively outlawed the use of third-party information unless it can be proved prospects have opted in to receive marketing from other brands.
This ruling – which only affects data collected under the EU’s Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations – came after an unsuccessful appeal by Optical Express, which was trying to overturn an enforcement notice issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Postal data is not affected.
Callcredit’s move is designed to enhance the strength of consents obtained from consumers and it is insisting existing data contributors adhere to its new formula. It is working with those providers to adopt this as soon as possible, but by no later than the end of March 2016.
After this date, the company will no longer accept data from any contributor who is unable to comply with the new standards of practice.
Callcredit data director Gareth Jones maintains the suspension is the right course of action, and pinpoints three major benefits: “First, it will create a pool of data with enhanced consent in terms of channel preference and sector permission providing firmer assurance for our clients; second, it maintains consumer privacy; and, third, it enables us to extract very precisely defined prospect lists that empower clients to more accurately target prospective customers.”
Callcredit has also announced that UK managing director Graham Lund is stepping aside to take on an advisory role at the firm; he is being succeeded by Chris Green who has been hired as chief commercial officer. Green joins from BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, where he was head of commercial solutions.
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