Tough European proposals threaten rogue operators

LONDON - Rogue direct marketers are to be refused bulk postal discounts under a new get-tough policy by Europe's advertising watchdogs.

They have also pledged to shop all direct mail offenders to the regulatory authorities, including Britain's Office of Fair Trading.

The clampdown was announced on Wednesday by Christopher Graham, the newly elected chairman of the European Advertising Standards Alliance, at a meeting with David Byrne, the EU health and consumer affairs commissioner.

The action follows a huge upsurge in complaints about DM, which rose by more than 50% in the UK in 2001.

Graham pledged the EASA would work with the Royal Mail, Deutsche Post and others to deny bulk discounts to DM mavericks and curb their use of accommodation addresses in Switzerland.

The policy is also being extended to cover new media. But the EASA admitted it was powerless to stop most spamming, as the majority came from outside the EU.

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