The Direct Marketing Association of South Africa (DMASA) has announced that its updated Code of Practice is in the process of finalisation. Speaking at the Association's Insights Conference, CEO David Dickens said that the new Code had been a year in the making, and would provide the framework for professionalising the industry while also providing guidance for compliance with all relevant legislation.
“Direct marketing is increasingly important in today’s digital and customer-focused business environment, and is used by most businesses, from the largest to the smallest. It is to everybody’s benefit that those using direct marketing not only obey the various laws that have come into being to protect consumers and their personal information, but that they conduct themselves in a professional way,” he said.
Dickens said that the rewriting of the Code was initially prompted by the promulgation of the Protection of Personal Information Act (PoPIA), as well as the Cybercrimes Bill, which is currently under consideration by the National Council of Provinces. The National Credit Regulator’s requirement to Treat Customers Fairly was also a major driver behind the rewrite.
The process of drafting the new Code of Practice has been overseen by DMASA’s PoPIA Committee. It scanned the international environment to establish what the global trends, and took advice from the Global Direct Marketing Association, on whose executive committee Dickens sits. Comment and submissions were sought both from DMASA members and non-members, as well as interested industry associations, such as the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA). BASA is currently performing a final analysis of the Code in the context of banking regulations.
Michalsons Attorneys and Deloitte also contributed to the process. A major driver was to ensure that the Code is written in plain English and thus accessible to everybody.
Once BASA has completed its review, the DMASA PoPIA Committee will make any necessary changes and the DMASA board will formally sign it into existence.
“We are looking forward to revealing the final version of this Code because we believe it spells a big step forward for our members. Not only will it help them comply with relevant legislation, it will provide a guide to achieving the status of a trusted brand or company, something of inestimable value in marketing,” Dickens concludes. “The finalised Code will be submitted to the Information Regulator for possible adoption by her office as the industry code.”