DMA calls for greater information about electoral roll implications

LONDON - The Direct Marketing Association is to urge for the provision of greater information for consumers, explaining the negative implications if direct marketing companies continue to be refused access to the electoral roll.

Responding to the government's amendments to draft regulations for access to the electoral roll, the DMA outlined its fears if commercial organisations continue to be banned from using the register.

"It is important that voters should be given adequate information about the implications of the introduction and purpose of the two versions of the electoral register, so that they can make an informed choice about whether to opt out of inclusion in the full version.

"It should be explained clearly to the public that opting out of the full register does not and can not guarantee that they will receive no unsolicited commercial mail. The only effective way to do this is by registering with the Mailing Preference Service," the DMA said in a statement.

The DMA also highlighted the legal implications for direct marketing agencies as they are obliged by law to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998, that says that personal data must be kept up-to-date.

The draft regulations were published on Monday and confirm what direct marketing agencies fear: that the government proposes to create a second register that voters can opt out of, which would be accessible by commercial organisations.

The DMA said it would be scrutinising the draft regulations before responding to the Department of Transport, Local Government & the Regions within the prescribed period.

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