The Direct Marketing Association has announced three sets of
guidelines for business practice following the launch of last year’s
Code of Practice.
The publications, which deal with sampling, inserts and home shopping,
are designed to encourage consumers to respond more often to direct
marketing. Recommendations fall into two areas: the needs of the
customer and operational issues concerning the supplier.
A spokesman for the DMA said: ’We are finding that the guidelines get
passed on from agencies to clients, so they become better informed and
more involved in the delivery of a campaign.’
The catalogue and home shopping guidelines point out that the home
shopping market is worth in excess of pounds 9 billion per year and is
expected to account for 8 per cent of all retail sales by 2005. They
recommend that 90 per cent of calls should be answered within 30
seconds; mailed orders should be fulfilled within five working days;
goods should be received within 14 working days and refunds must be
processed within three days.
The product sampling guidelines suggest that samples delivered to
household addresses should be safe for children and pets, while samples
should carry the words ’free sample’ and should be able to fit through a
The guidelines on inserts cover all stages of the process including the
creation, media buying, printing, transportation and publishing. They
break the operation down into seven steps: campaign objectives; media
and marketing planning; budgeting; timings; briefings; reproduction,
distribution and storage.
The final pages of the guide include templates to standardise the
processes, including a sample order form.