FORMER DIRECTOR GENERAL of the Office of Fair Trading Lord Borrie QC is to chair the Direct Marketing Authority - a new independent regulatory body for the £6bn a year dm industry. The Authority has been formed at the initiative of the DMA and will primarily concern itself with the protection of consumer interests, offering the public a single point of contact (0345 034 599) for dm-related enquiries or complaints; it will complement the work of the Advertising Standards Authority with the specific objective of raising levels of consumer trust and confidence through enhanced self-regulation. The newcomer will ingest the current Authority of the DMA, the Mailing and Fax Preference Services, and DMARC (the Direct Mail Accreditation and Recognition Centre). Subject to further consultation with Oftel, the Telephone Preference Service will also fall within the Authority’s remit. It will also concern itself with new initiatives such as the mooted e-mail preference service. The incumbent heads of the three former bodies - respectively Joyce Blow, Kate Beckett and Tom Corrigan - are to stand down and administration will pass to the DMA which is seeking new premises to accommodate increased staff and its expanded remit. The new Authority will meet for the first time towards the end of June; it will comprise Lord Borrie plus three independent members and three industry representatives, one of whom is to be a Royal Mail appointee.
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