The ICO exists to empower you through information.

The Commissioner regulates data protection and PECR laws. However, there are other rules and industry standards affecting direct marketing that are regulated by other bodies.

Compliance with other regulation and industry standards can assist you in demonstrating that your direct marketing activities comply with data protection law and PECR. For example, that your use of people’s information for direct marketing purposes is lawful and fair.

You should be familiar with all laws and industry standards that apply to you.

Other resources outside this guidance

Ofcom regulates the Communications Act 2003, which covers the improper use of a public electronic communications network, including making silent or abandoned calls. Ofcom has powers to issue fines for persistent misuse.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and local trading standards offices enforce The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 which prohibit a number of unfair, misleading or aggressive marketing practices, including “making persistent and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, email or other remote media”.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) enforces the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing (CAP code). The CAP code contains rules which all advertisers, agencies and media must follow. It covers advertising content, and specific rules on certain types of advertising (eg advertising to children, advertising certain types of products).

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) publishes the DMA code, setting standards of ethical conduct and best practice in direct marketing. Compliance is mandatory for all DMA members and the code is enforced by the independent Direct Marketing Commission.

The Fundraising Regulator is the independent, non-statutory body that regulates fundraising across the charitable sector in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It sets standards for fundraising including in its code of fundraising practice. The body that regulates charities based in Scotland is the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

The Phone-paid Services Authority is the UK regulator for content, goods and services charged to a phone bill (ie premium rate services).