The charity sector might have got plenty of stick over its cack-handed and ‘smoke and mirrors’ approach to marketing consent, but it is not alone; nearly every complaint made to the DM Commission last year was triggered by firms failing to carry out due diligence over their marketing data.
That is acccording to the DMC’s annual report, which exposes the fact that two problems continue to bother consumers: the clarity of consent; and how far that consent extends to third parties.
The DMC, which investigates complaints made about DMA members, said that complex supply chains and confusion over consent represented the biggest concerns to consumers in 2016.
Between July 1 2015 and June 30 2016, the DMC recorded 230 complaints. Those unrelated to DMA members were passed to the relevant authority where possible. The DMC tackled 48 separate cases in total: 40 consumer complaints and eight business complaints.
During the year in question, the DMC board formally investigated six businesses, four of which were found, following a complete adjudication process, to be in breach of the DMA Code.
Of the 48 cases, 35 (73%) related to data, privacy and quality. These cases often related to complex supply chains where insufficient due diligence meant the original consent or lack of consent had been overlooked, in breach of the DMA Code.
DMC boss George Kidd (pictured) said: “In almost every case the Commission considered we found ourselves looking at lengthy supply chains that resulted in messages and calls to people who had made clear they did not want these and had not agreed to them.”
Kidd is keen to remind DMA members that failure to conduct sufficient due diligence could result in reputational damage for the supplier, agency and brand. “It’s simply not good enough just to say ‘I didn’t know’, ‘I work on a basis of trust’, ‘my suppliers filled in a form saying they would behave’ and ‘it’s not my fault; someone let me down’,” he said.
He said that consistent complaints about these issues with sub-contractors, call centres and ill-managed data supply chains prompted the Commission to raise matters with the DMA.
“We are delighted the DMA has started a process of audit and review of data broker and lead generation businesses to ensure they have the processes and the practices in place to ensure the consents they secure and the data they supply are clear,” he said.
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