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List abuse on the rise

LONDON - The misuse and abuse of marketing lists increased in 2008, with the recruitment and office equipment sectors the worst abusers, according to annualised figures from the data specialist DQM Group.

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DQM's annual report into list abuse revealed the growing scale of the problem, which followed a reduction between peak year 2006 and 2007.

The report found that incidents of list abuse in the recruitment sector were 66% above the average and in the office equipment sector 41% above the average; while the health and beauty, utility and government sectors also performed poorly (both at 23% above average).

More encouragingly, the top performing sector in the survey was the associations and societies market - especially impressive in light of the fact that it was the worst offender in 2006.

Other good performances were given by the property services, travel and retail equipment sectors.

Adrian Gregory, DQM's chief executive, said: "Following a peak in the number of incidents of list abuse in 2006, it appears that data owners got their act together and improved the policing of list usage by employing techniques including data tracking or 'seeding' and compliance auditing.

"But data owners need to be wary of becoming complacent. Rigorous policing of lists has to be maintained, especially if marketers are turning to desperate measures in these economically difficult times."

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