UK DMA Starts Consumer Education Campaign

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The Direct Marketing Association (UK) Ltd. this week began a consumer Web site and a Consumer Charter to address concerns in the United Kingdom over direct marketing practices.

The site at is a resource for consumers that explains the basics of what direct marketing is and informs them of their options about controlling DM communications such as the Mailing Preference Service, Telephone Preference Service and Fax Preference Service in the UK.

The site also contains the Consumer Charter, which includes six key goals the DMA UK has in order to help consumers benefit from direct marketing. Those goals are:

* Listen and react to consumer concerns by raising awareness of our Code of Practice to maintain and improve industry standards.

* Investigate all bad practice by DMA members and take appropriate action.

* Provide additional information on the channels available to consumers to report bad practice.

* Provide consumers the information to protect their rights in relation to direct marketing.

* Protect the environment and improve the industry's environmental record.

* Demonstrate the benefits of direct marketing.

The DMA UK first announced its plans to conduct a six-figure public relations effort in October. It worked with Hotwire PR, a European technology PR consultancy based in London, to create the campaign.

When the initiative was announced, the DMA UK said it would include a Web site and a program to build awareness of the association's consumer advice service, though it is unclear how that is being promoted. Other components include a school competition to educate students on the value of DM and an environmental campaign with the Woodland Trust that began in August.

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