What did the Telemarketing Council say to the ICO and MoJ? | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


What did the Telemarketing Council say to the ICO and MoJ?


Difficult to summarise a 2 hour meeting into a 300 word blog post, but here goes…

“Please clarify your respective vision for the telemarketing industry, and where do you feel you are in progression towards achieving this vision?”


The ICO is two years into a tougher regime which is starting to see results and would like to see nuisance calls reduced from 25m per week. Did they indicate what they would like to get it down to (a figure or % - this makes them look a bit woolly otherwise).

The ICO is doubling the size of its team from 5 to 10 Intelligence Support staff but also have a 40 strong Enforcement Department that can be utilised as required.


The MoJ now operate under a stricter regime and have introduced new due diligence rules and are starting to issue financial penalties.

“Please outline what you think the consumer journey should be: engagement/understanding/process for ‘opting out’?”


The journey starts before contact is made. At the point of collection consumers should know what their data will be used for and how they will be contacted.

The new EU Data Regulation may make things more difficult so get your data sorted now. Consumers are wanting more choice around frequency of contact from organisations.

“As sugging is already illegal and companies, particularly lead gen firms, continue to break the regulations can a better process to be introduced?”


Market research is legitimate. If it is lead generation then firms cannot claim it is a ‘lifestyle’ call. Even if consent is gained later, the ICO will go back to Data Protection and question the process.

Companies buying data should be doing their due diligence – those that are not will have a problem if complaints continue.

“How effective are you in pursuing nuisance calls from overseas?”


A group of regulators got together and did meet with the Indian regulator and work progresses in this area. In South Africa the industry employs so many people it is difficult to see their Government doing anything to address any issues. The issue still comes back to due diligence when buying data.


Any business carrying out claims management activity and targeting consumers based in England & Wales need to be authorised. Authorised businesses must carry out due diligence to ensure that any leads they buy from third parties have been generated compliantly. The MoJ would take appropriate action if they don’t. They have started using mystery shopping to assist in identifying the businesses behind the marketing.

“You are encouraging consumers to complain about nuisance calls. Do you believe the complaints process is widely known and easy to use?”


From 6 April 2015 all that needs to be proved is that it has been a serious contravention of the rules. ICO action taken on nuisance calls and texts is at https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/nuisance-calls-and-messages.


There is complaints information on the MoJ website and authorised businesses should have a complaints procedure on their website. There is also clear consumer information on ICO, MoJ, TPS and Which? websites.

“What is your definition of a vulnerable person and are you aware of the work the DMA is doing on the subject?


It is a requirement of the MoJ’s rules that businesses comply with the DMA guidelines.

“How could the ICO help in the promotion of and campaign for the use of mandatory caller ID?”


Some people within the ICO think it should become an offence, if it’s direct marketing then it should be a meaningful CLI. The Department of Culture, Media & Sport are working on it so we may see some activity early next year.

“Random sequential calling used to be illegal but the 2003 Comms Act said it was not illegal. A lot seems to be going on. Do the ICO have a view on this?”


The ICO would look at it as being a highly aggravating factor, and would go towards all the other factors they look at. If it is to a number not on TPS then it is legal.

“What does the ICO see as the next big threat?”


Automated calls. A vast proportion of nuisance calls across the network is from automated calls, the majority at the moment are going to land lines this is likely to move across to mobiles.

The transition to calling mobiles may increasingly impact younger people and there are differing views on how that audience will react.


Attending the Contact Centre & Telemarketing Council meeting were:

From the Council - Jacqui Crawley, Jürgen Boltz, Stephen Sullivan, Graham Smith, Rufus Grig, Steve Smith, Alison Flannery, Nerys Corfield.

From the DMA - Mike Lordan, John Mitchison, James Milligan, Charlotte Natter.

From the Information Commissioner's Office - Dave Clancy.

From the Ministry of Justice - Francesca Heanue, Greg Williams.

Observers - Gary Brandon (DBS Data), David Freedman (Confero Contact Centres),

Next meeting is 7 October 2015. If you work for a DMA member organisation and would be interested in observing a Council meeting, then please get in touch by calling 020 7291 3300 and ask for Charlotte Natter.

The council also post regular updates and topics for discussion on our LinkedIn Group, please join to be kept informed.

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.