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Alice Beer fronts campaign to promote benefits of DM

LONDON - Former 'Watchdog' presenter Alice Beer is helping the DMA explain the direct marketing industry to the public, by appearing on TV news today and publicising a new consumer-facing website.

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Beer has been engaged for a PR initiative, handled by Hotwire on behalf of the DMA, and has lent herself to interviews and is featured on the website,

BBC and ITV breakfast programmes interviewed Beer and Tessa Kelly, the DMA's director of compliance operations. They will also appear on later BBC news bulletins, as well as BBC and commercial radio programmes.

The website has been created by integrated agency Crayon Direct Advertising and includes advice for consumers on the benefits that the marketing medium can offer and what they can do to control it.

The site also features the DM Family, a family of five consumers who discuss how they use various forms of direct marketing in their daily lives, and the DMA's Consumer Charter. 

"The direct marketing industry has a mountain to climb to regain the public's confidence, but the very fact that a sustained campaign on this scale is being launched today is a significant first-step from the industry," Beer said.

"It is essential for the direct marketing industry to be speaking directly to consumers about the rights and choices they have and making clear its commitment to expose and punish the minority of rogues, which are tarnishing the reputation of the entire industry."

Consumers wishing to "Ask Alice" can put questions to Beer through the website.

This campaign is the first major move by the DMA to improve direct marketing's image in the aftermath of last year's 'Brassed Off Britain' TV series, which named direct mail as the nation's most disliked industry.

James Kelly, DMA managing director, said: "This campaign and its messages have been developed following extensive public consultation. We accept that changing consumer perceptions won't happen overnight and this is exactly why we haven't simply focused on the benefits of direct marketing in the first stage of the campaign."

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