Australia’s new Privacy Act will have an adverse effect on the nation’s direct mail business – or so fear over ninety per cent of senior managers in the industry.

Their concern was evident from the debut publication this week of ACNielsen’s MailTrack survey, a snapshot of 250 companies active in Australian direct mail.

In addition to worries over the new legislation, the survey reveals that the majority (56%) of direct mail down under is targeted at consumers; the remainder being business-to-business.

Nationally, the same split between consumer and b2b activity is reflected across the respective mail output of mailing houses, ad agencies and marketing communications specialists.

However, the trend is bucked by the financial services industry, 95% of whose direct mail output is targeted at consumers. Conversely, listbrokers rely almost entirely on b2b activity which accounts for 84% of their business.

Comments ACNielsen Media International client service director Gayle Cunningham: “The findings suggest that the government appears to have succeeded in alerting companies to their responsibilities in relation to the new Privacy Act. Conducted less than three weeks prior to the introduction of the Privacy Act, the survey indicated that with 35% of organisations anticipating significant impact on direct marketing, there was considerable uncertainty for sectors of the direct marketing industry.”

Continued Cunningham: “The survey also investigated emerging trends in the direct mail sector, with 60% of companies now involved in e-marketing. Our findings showed that 5% of e-marketing activity is targeted towards consumers whilst 43% is business to business.”

Data sourced from: Daily Research News Online; additional content by WARC staff