The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) was established in 1983 and is a free service for consumers which allows them to register their wish not to receive unsolicited direct mail. It is a service that is supported by the Royal Mail and ICO.
The use of the Consumer File by list-owners and users is a requirement of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing. It is also a mandatory condition under the Direct Marketing Association’s Code of Practice. If an organisation sends mail to someone on the MPS list and the recipient complains, then the MPS will investigate the matter. If it appears that the complaint is valid, then the matter will be passed to the Advertising Standards Authority.
While it is not illegal to send mail to someone who has registered with the MPS, the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 says an organisation should not repeatedly contact someone if they have asked not to be contacted. Obviously, responsible brands who value their reputation, also respect their prospective customers’ wishes. In addition, sending unsolicited marketing material to consumers who have expressed a clear preference not to receive such material is a waste of valuable marketing budget. We would advise that every postal mailing database aimed at prospective customers is checked against the MPS on a regular basis.
HOW CAN I ACCESS THE MPS FILE?
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