Thou Shall Not Mail, Telephone or Fax without permission

by MarketingFile 18. December 2012 10:06

One of our direct marketing commandments is ‘thou shall not mail, telephone or fax without permission’.

In previous posts we have touched on environmental responsibility, in this post we will focus on the legal responsibility of sending marketing material to registered TPS, MPS and FPS contacts. You could be doing more damage by communicating a marketing campaign to a recipient, who has already stated that they don’t want to be contacted with direct mail.

Permission based marketing is not only highly effective and avoids negative brand reputation but it is fully compliant with the good-practice guidance from The Information Commissioners Office. To stay legal, ensure that all customers on your mailing lists have agreed to be contacted by you for marketing purposes. There are three simple services that MarketingFile provide to ensure your business or consumer lists want to hear from you. They are as follows:

  • TPS – The Telephone Preference Service.

The Telephone Preference Service is a free service that allows people to record their preferences not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. The service covers consumers and landlines and has also been extended to cover businesses through the Corporate Telephone Preference service and mobile numbers.

  • MPS - The Mailing Preference Service.

The Mailing Preference Service is a free service funded by the direct mail industry. It enables consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the industry.

  •  FPS – The Fax Preference Service.

The Fax Preference Service was introduced under government legislation making in unlawful to send an individual an unsolicited sales and marketing fax without prior permission. This service is primarily targeted at businesses however; individuals can also register their fax numbers.

To keep you legal we have compiled a list of facts regarding TPS, MPS, FPS & general mailing information:

  • Once a number has been registered on the TPS it takes 28 days to become effective.
  • If you don’t screen your consumer or business lists against the TPS you could be fined up to £500,000. This fine only came into action in 2012.
  • If a person or organisation you’re targeting asks to be taken off your mailing list, you must comply with their request. If you fail to do this they can apply to the courts for an order against you under section 11 of the Data Protection Act.
  • As of July 2012 The Directing Marketing Association reported 1,000 to 2,000 monthly complaints regarding the violations of the registered TPS, MPS and FPS contact information. In addition to fines, The Information Commissioners Office publishes details of any formal action it takes against organisations on its website and in press releases.

Stay legal when direct marketing! For more information on how to stay legal visit


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