British DMA Breaks Campaign to Build Consumer Trust in DM

About 850 members of Britain's Direct Marketing Association have been mailed information packs to support an “It's Your Choice” campaign for building consumer trust and confidence in direct marketing.

The package complements a new Web site and an advertising campaign breaking next month in British print media.

The campaign seeks to calm consumer fears about data protection and privacy rights as the Internet grows as a direct marketing vehicle.

“It very much raises awareness of how to buy safely and about direct marketing,” said Mike Barnes, director of marketing at the British DMA. “We're saying direct marketing is a easy, safe and secure lifestyle. However, if you're unsure about that, here's the information.”

The package contains information pamphlets on e-mail and SMS text marketing. DMA members are being urged to circulate these hard copies in their mail packages to counteract misconceptions about direct marketing.

The effort is an extension of a previous campaign called “Changing Opinions.” Debuted in 1999, that effort also sought to engender consumer trust in the direct marketing medium. But that was before e-commerce became a popular alternative to catalog and phone purchases.

The Internet figures prominently in the DMA's latest push. The pamphlets ask consumers to visit an informational site supported by leading British consumer and industry organizations. Even print ads will point to the Web site.

Organizations partnering online with the DMA include the Office of the Information Commissioner, the DTI, the National Consumer Council and the Trading Standards Institute.

The site discusses issues such as how to benefit from buying direct; safe Internet shopping; e-mail and mobile phone marketing; data protection and access rights; related links; an e-mail a friend function; and information on the DMA.

Members have been urged to display the DMA logo on their direct marketing literature and Web sites. The TrustUK logo also is suggested for placement on sites. Visitors to the site are told to look for the DMA logo and other accredited marks like TrustUK, especially when buying online.

“Because it was an online consumer-focused campaign, it needed to have a Web presence as compared to previous campaigns, which were sort of print based,” Barnes said.

Meanwhile, the DMA soon will debut a Baby Preference Service. This is a partnership with manufacturers and marketers of baby foods and products — companies that collect information on babies and pregnant mothers.

“Mothers who lose children at birth can call one number [for removing their name from the databases],” Barnes said.

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