The Ethical Marketing Charter – the first industry-led initiative of its kind – has marked the one-year anniversary of its launch – going from strength to strength in its first year and securing over 60 signatories from across the personal injury sector to commit to never cold calling, never trading in accident data nor using misleading advertising.
National Accident Helpline and seven inaugural signatories launched the Ethical Marketing Charter in July 2015 to promote ethical and professional marketing practices, stamp out bad practice by rogue operators and ensure consumers were better protected.
Throughout its first year, the Charter has secured over 60 signatories including leading law firms Irwin Mitchell and Fieldfisher. The industry-led initiative also secured endorsements from leading industry bodies and hosted a high-level parliamentary roundtable in October 2015, following which former Shadow Culture and Digital Economy Minister Chi Onwurah MP said “industry-led initiatives such as the Ethical Marketing Charter will help to create clear water between ethical and unethical businesses”.
Through taking a public stand against unethical marketing practices and challenging others to follow suit, the Ethical Marketing Charter has been instrumental in raising awareness of nuisance marketing. The Charter’s first year has seen government and regulators take decisive and much-needed action to address these important issues for the benefit of consumers, with the Insurance Fraud Taskforce recommending that regulators work together to tackle cold calls and the Claims Management Regulator revising its guidance to require consent to share consumer data to third parties for marketing purposes.
Whilst the action taken by government is welcome, more needs to be done to stamp out unethical marketing practices. As a founding inaugural member, National Accident Helpline will be building on the success of the Ethical Marketing Charter by actively encouraging more businesses to sign up to the initiative to secure greater protections for consumers.
Signatories will also be considering ways to strengthen the initiative, including through establishing a steering group to monitor and enforce any breaches of the initiative’s commitments, and will continue to actively make the case to government for tighter regulation on nuisance marketing.
Commenting on the one-year anniversary of the Charter, Simon Trott, managing director of National Accident Helpline, said:
“National Accident Helpline founded the Ethical Marketing Charter in July of last year in response to the growth in cold calling, trading of personal information and misleading advertising which all cause real harm and distress to consumers.
To secure over 60 signatories from organisations across the industry in just a year is a remarkable achievement and shows the personal injury sector’s real commitment to stamping out unethical marketing practices for the benefit of consumers.
The collective commitment of signatories has undoubtedly contributed to recent action by government and regulators to help tackle cold calls and ensure that consent is secured before sharing data to third parties for marketing purposes. Despite these steps, there is still more to do to ensure that unethical practices are a tactic of the past.”
Over the coming months, we will be actively building upon the success of the Charter by encouraging more members to sign up to the initiative as well as making the case for tighter regulation on nuisance marketing to provide better protections for consumers.”
Commenting on the anniversary of the Charter, Vidisha Joshi, head of personal injury at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, said:
“With a rich heritage of campaigning on the issues that matter most to our clients, we were delighted to sign up to the Ethical Marketing Charter. It’s very important that the sector stands up against disreputable businesses that tarnish the personal injury market. Equally, it sends a strong message out to our clients about how we operate and what we believe in.”
Andrew Twambley, founder of InjuryLawyers4u, said:
“The Ethical Marketing Charter has a crucial role to play in ensuring all businesses in the personal injury sector adhere to the highest standards on marketing. InjuryLawyers4u will continue to work alongside other signatories to drive the Charter forward over the coming year – encouraging other businesses to sign-up and helping to eradicate unethical practices in the interest of consumers.”
Lesley Fereti, head of marketing at Lester Aldridge LLP, said:
“Ethical working practices are paramount within a law firm. We take the Ethical Marketing Charter very seriously and are proud to be an inaugural signatory.”
For more details on the Ethical Marketing Charter and how your organisation can sign up, visit www.ethicalmarketing.org.uk.