DIRECT - ISBA rails against electoral roll bill

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has joined the fight against government plans to limit commercial use of the electoral roll.

The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has joined

the fight against government plans to limit commercial use of the

electoral roll.



Ian Twinn, director of public affairs at ISBA, said the society had

decided to lobby MPs on all sides to push for the complete removal of an

opt-out box for consumers on electoral roll forms.



ISBA, which represents advertisers such as Procter & Gamble and Rover,

held talks last Wednesday with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA),

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and British Bankers Association

(BBA) ahead of the Representation of the People Bill, which moves into

its committee stage this week.



Last week, Home Secretary Jack Straw indicated that the government will

allow roll data to be used for credit referencing purposes, but he has

failed to offer any real concessions to direct marketers.



’The Home Office has failed to understand the issue and what it means

for the direct marketing industry. It hasn’t retreated on the use of the

electoral roll by direct marketers,’ said Twinn.



ISBA favours sending educational information on the Mailing Preference

Service to consumers who wish to have their names removed from a

commercially available version of the electoral roll.



At the bill’s second reading, Home Office minister Mike O’Brien was

intent on pushing for the inclusion of an opt-out box for consumers.

However, he gave some encouragement to the direct marketing industry

with his statement that ’there is plenty of opportunity to continue the

discussions’.



Industry bodies - including the DMA, CBI and BBA - are now attempting to

enlist MPs’ support in tabling amendments to the bill.



Labour MP Stephen Pound, along with Tory spokesman John Greenway and

senior Liberal Democrat Simon Hughes, have already spoken in favour of

the direct marketing industry.



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