The move follows an investigation by the Direct Marketing Commission (DMC) – the organisation which polices disputes between the trade body and its members – that upheld four complaints of breaches of the DM Code, the self-regulatory code of practice.
The company trades in the UK as both Data Providers UK and B2B Data Lists Group – both firms are owned by Infomonitor Global LLC, a US corporation.
Between October 2010 and July 2011 the DMC received ten complaints from non-DMA members who sourced data from B2B Data Lists. The complaints related to data supplied by the company, and the way in which the company dealt with complaints.
According to the DMC’s findings, Data Providers UK breached a number of sections of the DM Code on a repeated basis, specifically that the company sold data without proper regard for whether it met client requirements, unreasonably sought to absolve itself of responsibility for the data, and that refunds were refused or only offered as a last resort.
Due to the serious nature of the breaches, the DMC recommended to the DMA Board that Data Providers UK be expelled from DMA membership. In spite of Data Providers UK resigning from membership, the standard six-month resignation notice period meant that the company was still served with an expulsion notice. Details of its expulsion will be shared with the Office of Fair Trading.
DMA Board chair Scott Logie said: “DMA membership is a clear indicator of a company operating to the highest standards, standing for professionalism and trustworthiness. The DM Code of Practice is the cornerstone of our efforts to maintain political, commercial and consumer faith in direct marketing. Therefore, any company that fails to operate within these standards brings both the DMA and the industry into disrepute. It’s for this reason that we had no choice but to expel Data Providers UK from membership.”
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