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DMA comments on DCMS nuisance calls consultation

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The DMA commented on a planned nuisance calls consultation announced by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS)

Mike Lordan, director of external affairs at the DMA, said:

“The DMA has been spearheading the industry’s initiatives to tackle the problem of nuisance calls and text spam, and has called for legislative changes to make it easier for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to issue penalties to rogue companies breaking the law. It’s good news for the telemarketing industry that DCMS has now launched its long-promised consultation on nuisance calls and spam text.

“The recent surge in complaints has been driven in the main by rogue companies making PPI and accident claims calls. Lowering the burden of proof will be an important tool in protecting the telemarketing industry and consumers from the scourge of nuisance calls.”

Background

The DCMS consultation, which it first suggested in March, will look at ways to make it easier for government regulators to impose fines that stick on rogue companies responsible for making nuisance calls and sending spam texts.

By law, companies cannot contact numbers registered with the TPS – the official ‘do not call’ register for people to opt out of receiving unsolicited live sales or marketing calls.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) enforces the laws covering telemarketing and SMS marketing, set out in the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulation (PECR). Currently, the ICO must demonstrate "significant damage or distress" caused to individuals by nuisance calls or spam texts in order to issue monetary penalties of up to £500,000.

The ICO’s annual report, published on 15 July, revealed that the number of complaints from the public about nuisance calls and spam text increased by 4% to 161,720 between April 2013 and March 2014.

The DMA has been spearheading the industry’s initiatives to tackle the problem of nuisance calls and text spam along with organisations such as the ICO who in August said they were “desperate” for the DCMS to launch the consultation.

The Government’s March 2014 report, Nuisance calls action plan, credited the DMA for its solutions to tackling nuisance calls – specifically naming the accreditation scheme TPS Assured and the DMA’s Code of Practice.

-Ends-

Contact

Ed Owen, Head of PR
Tel. 020 7291 3324
Email ed.owen@dma.org.uk

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