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DMA expels PPI nuisance callers from membership

The DMA has expelled Reactiv Media from its membership after the industry’s watchdog upheld complaints made about the company for making PPI nuisance calls.

The Direct Marketing Commission (DMC) received complaints from consumers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) about West Yorkshire-based Reactiv Media for unsolicited live calls on PPI mis-selling between April and September 2013. The DMC found failures over consumer consent, the requirement for named third-party permissions and identifying themselves when making calls and concluded that DMA rules banning calls to people registered with the TPS had been broken.

Reactiv Media, whose callers presented themselves as representatives of a ‘consumer helpline’, were warned by the DMC of their obligations as a DMA member, but failed to respond to requests to review and change their processes and continued to generate complaints about their activities.

Julia Porter, chair of the DMA board, commented:

“Putting the customer at the heart of your one-to-one communications is essential to building trust in your brand and trust in the channels you use. Reactiv Media refused our help to ensure they adhere to the law and our code of practice, which is there to protect the consumer and the reputation of the industry. It is for this reason we had to strip the company of its DMA membership.”

George Kidd, chief commissioner of the DMC, added:

“This is an unfortunate outcome. Other telemarketing companies have worked with us and turned past problems around. Those who use companies like Reactiv Media to generate leads share a responsibility. They should not be encouraging firms to bend or break rules that are there to make sure the public’s wishes are respected when it comes to telemarketing.”

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

During the past year, the issue of nuisance calls has attracted widespread media and political attention as complaints against telemarketers soared to an all-time high, driven in part by rogue companies responsible for PPI calls. The DMA and DM Commission have been working with the Government, regulators and other organisations to tackle the problem of nuisance calls.

Last week, the Government published its action plan on nuisance calls in which it recommends that companies follow the DMA’s code of practice, as well as become TPS Assured accredited.

Based on the evidence presented, the DMC concluded that Reactiv Media was in breach of the following provisions of the (Third edition) DM Code of Practice:

21.20 on compliance with TPS regulations

3.15 under which Reactiv Media has a responsibility for supplier responsibility

21.46 on the requirement not to mislead consumers

Contact

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

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The DMA Code is an aspirational agreement to which all DMA members and their business partners must adhere.

It aims to promote one-to-one marketing as a true exchange of value between your business, looking to prosper, and your customer, looking to benefit - and provides you with the five clear principles that will guide you to achieve this, and against which your conduct will be measured.

An important part of your role as a DMA member is to extol and spread the positive values and goals of this Code, for the benefit of our industry into the future.

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