DMA chief calls for ethical standards across data and marketing sectors

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

The CEO of the UK’s Direct marketing Association has called on the data and marketing industry to embrace the opportunity to adopt ethical standards.

Speaking at the Data Protection 2019 conference in Central London, Chris Combemale said the relationship between brands and their customers has changed dramatically in recent years, and raised the question of what businesses should be doing to retain customer trust in an increasingly connected digital world. 

“The data and marketing industry is at a crossroads”, Combemale said. “We can be an industry that puts short-term profit above long-term loyalty. An industry that uses data, technology and creative to trick customers into a quick sale. An industry that targets obsessively, as if our customers only want to buy what they have always bought. 

DMA ethics: Combemale says industry at a crossroads

“Or we can be an industry that chooses to create truly engaging customer experiences. An industry that reinforces community values. An industry that builds trust. An industry that earns respect for our talent, our skills and our sense of responsibility.”

Combemale explained: “The data and marketing industry can choose to become the UK’s most customer-focused community, empowering brands to responsibly create more value for and from their customers. We can use our skills to create delightful and surprising customer experiences, adding real, long-term sustainable value for our customers, our brands and for society.”

“There are choices that we need to make as an industry if we are to earn the trust of our customers and their custom. We can choose to be passionate about intelligent marketing, led by customer-first principles, using data science and technology to meet the changing needs of today and tomorrow, responsibly and sustainably.”

Combemale was speaking at the introduction to a morning of speakers at the DMA’s Data Protection 2019 event which included Simon McDougall, executive director, technology, policy and innovation, ICO; Johnny Ryan, chief policy and industry relations officer, Brave Software; Jonathan Brenton, principal policy advisor, EU negotiations, CBI; Garreth Cameron, DPO - EMEA, Dentsu Aegis and Sonia Sudhakar, marketing director, The Guardian

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