Busy Summer for British DMA

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The British DMA is having a busy summer that includes an image campaign, a drive to put more trust into Internet shopping, and the welcome of two major field marketing agencies to membership.

Changing Opinions was launched in early spring as a drive to make British consumers more aware of direct marketing and its benefits.

The first step of the campaign went online in April as the "home-shopping doctor" who spent six weeks on a popular Web site called charlottestreet.com. The feature was targeted at Web-literate women and offered a direct response mechanism for online queries.

Support from industry helped make the second step -- the publication of 3 million inserts lauding direct marketing that were inserted in a selected list of IPC women's weekly titles, targeting "one of the largest [audiences] of home shoppers in the UK, women at home and at work," the DMA said.

"The campaign aims to gradually increase consumers' propensity to respond positively to DM, whilst meeting the requirements of the EC Distance Contracts Directive by actively promoting consumer safeguards," said Colin Lloyd, the DMA's CEO.

In July, TrustUK went live on the Web. Sites that display the logo have signed on to a code of practice that ensures Internet shoppers decent and honest treatment and that has been approved by the new organization.

It is a joint nonprofit venture between the UK's Consumers' Association and the Alliance for Electronic Business -- the Confederation of British Industry, the DMA, Computing Services and Software Association, the Federation of Electronic Industry and the e-center UK.

"New research," the DMA said, "shows that many computer owners still refuse to shop on the Web because of fears of fraud." TrustUK is designed to persuade shoppers to test the electronic waters without fear.

The issue is important for the British government, which is engaged in a campaign to make the United Kingdom the best place in which to conduct e-business by 2002. The launch, therefore, was witnessed by a cabinet minister.

Finally, two leading British field marketing agencies, FMCG and CPM, joined the DMA's Field Marketing Council.

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