A Peterborough company which helps to 'police' the direct mail
industry has welcomed news that high standards are being achieved.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)
has just carried out a survey which shows that 91 per cent of direct
marketing material complies with the British Codes of Advertising and
Sales Promotion. This compares favourably with a similar survey
carried out in 1996 when the overall compliance rate was only 85 per
cent. The codes are designed to protect consumers from 'cowboy'
However, the ASA says that high
proportions of mailings originating from outside the UK are breaching
the codes. All of the overseas mailings examined in the survey broke
Commenting on the survey, Andrew
Whittaker of Peterborough-based Mailtech, said: “We pride ourselves
in being at the forefront of maintaining high standards and we ‘police’
all direct mail that passes through our doors. We offer our clients a
service that not only prints and mails material but also advises on
the content and its compliance with the many regulations in place.
"It is clear that our efforts,
together with those of others throughout the industry, are helping to
drive up standards.”
Earlier this year Mailtech was awarded
the prestigious Quality Mail Production (QMP) standard from the
British Accreditation Bureau in association with the Royal Mail and
the Direct Marketing Association. To comply with the QMP Accreditation
standard, Mailtech has formal production procedures in place, is aware
of all advertising standards regulations and the Data Protection Act,
and is able to advise on all Royal Mail postage schemes and other
The ASA survey was conducted over a
seven-month period with a sample of 678 mailings examined. Most
breaches of the codes related to text which tended to mislead readers.
Technical errors were also recorded, for example insufficient
prominence being given in sales promotion to important conditions.
The ASA will undertake another direct
marketing survey in three years time to monitor trends in compliance.
In the meantime, it is working with the appropriate regulators to try
to stop misleading mailings being sent to UK consumers from overseas.