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DMA expels Data Providers UK after code breaches

The Direct Marketing Association has expelled a list broker operating in the UK as Data Providers UK and B2B Data Lists Group, which appears to have now ceased trading.

Scott Logie: chair of the DMA

Scott Logie: chair of the DMA

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Both names are trading names of Infomonitor Global, a US corporation, according to the DMA.

Enacting its toughest sanction, the DMA followed the recommendation of the Direct Marketing Commission, which had ruled the broker had breached the self-regulatory Direct Marketing Code of Practice that DMA members must abide by.

When we attempted to reach the broker today an understandably upset member of staff informed us it had ceased trading with the loss of several jobs but did not give his name before ringing off. Its website is offline.

"We've sold to over 2,500 people in the last 12 months and 10 complaints is a very low percentage and I think it is absolutely disgusting ... the people that have complained have very poor products and were expecting miracles from a data campaign. The DMA, as always, took their side," he said.

A spokesman for the DMA said: "The DMA was compelled to take expulsion action against Data Providers UK after the independent Direct Marketing Commission upheld the serious complaints made against the company following a thorough investigation. The DMA takes no pleasure in seeing people losing their jobs, but is bound to uphold the standards of best practice that apply to every company that is a member of the Association."

The DMC had looked into ten complaints about the broker it received from non-DMA members between October 2010 and July 2011.

It found code breaches for selling data without proper regard for whether it met client requirements, unreasonably seeking to absolve itself of responsibility for the data and refusing refunds or offering them only as a last resort.

George Kidd, chair of the DMC, said Data Providers UK "seemed to show a complete disregard for the source of quality of its data, and for customer service".

The DMA last expelled a member, Wye Marketing, in 2008 and last suspended one, Phruit, at the beginning of this year.

Scott Logie, chair of the DMA board, said: "The DM Code of Practice is the cornerstone of our efforts to maintian political, commercial and consumer faith in direct marketing."

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