Etherington Review endorses DMA guidelines for vulnerable consumers | DMA

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Etherington Review endorses DMA guidelines for vulnerable consumers

Etherington Review: Report endorses DMA's guidelines for dealing with vulnerable consumers

The DMA welcomes the recommendations contained in the Etherington review, released today.

In particular, we welcome the recommendation that:

“Charities should implement the DMA’s guidelines for dealing with vulnerable customers in all their fundraising activities and communications.
Compliance with the DMA’s guidelines should be the object of regular review by the board of trustees or by an independent audit committee.”
(Page 48).

We released our first guidelines in 2012 and they are now in their second edition and freely available on our website.

DMA managing director Rachel Aldighieri said, “Every company that operates today comes into contact with people who find it difficult to make informed decisions. It’s no longer just ‘nice to have’ the ability to deal with vulnerable consumers, but a necessity. It’s also good business sense.

“We have produced these new guidelines and training materials to help our members stick to the DMA Code. We believe that the material is too important to be limited by membership, so they are freely available to anyone who needs them, and we urge businesses that use them in their telemarketing,” she said.

Training material includes a documents on caring for the vulnerable, a decision making matrix to help telemarketers spot signs that the customer may not be able to make informed decisions, flash cards that outline some common conditions, a full reading list and notes for trainers.

The Etherington Report also recommends charities ensure their agencies are, "Members of recognised trade associations (eg. the DMA) and bound by their rules."

All DMA members must abide by the DMA Code a simple set of guidelines designed to help businesses grow by putting the consumer at the heart of everything they do.


Minister for civil society, Rob Wilson, asked chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) Sir Stuart Etherington to review fundraising self-regulation in July 2015. His report was released today. You can find it at
Please view the DMA’s vulnerable guidelines here

Please view the training material for telemarketers here:

Both the guides and training material were developed by the DMA’s Contact Centres & Telemarketing Council with the support of Age UK, Alzheimers Society, Dementia Action Alliance and Rethink Mental Illness, produced in conjunction with BT, nPower, Blue Donkey, KMB Ltd, ReynoldsBusbyLee, Orbital Response and in particular Contact Centres & Telemarketing Council member Steve Smith, who was instrumental in developing the original guidelines in 2012.

Ed Owen, PR and Content manager
T: +44 (0) 207 291 3324 |M: +44 (0)7813 664656 |E:

About the DMA:
The DMA is a UK trade association for the one-to-one marketing industry - those companies that speak directly to their customers and those companies that help them achieve this. The DMA provides best-practice guidelines and legal services for its members, who are typically marketing, advertising and data-driven organisations.
More than 1,000 companies in the UK are DMA members. The DMA also holds industry events, conducts research and publishes reports, lobbies for legislation to support its members’ business practices and has a close working relationship with the Information Commissioner’s Office. All DMA members must comply with the DMA code, which is available to read here:

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