National Accident Helpline and seven inaugural signatories launched the Ethical Marketing Charter in July 2015 to promote ethical and professional marketing practices, stamp out bad practice by rogue operators and ensure consumers were better protected.
Throughout its first year, the Charter has secured over 60 signatories including leading law firms Irwin Mitchell and Fieldfisher. The industry-led initiative also secured endorsements from leading industry bodies and hosted a high-level parliamentary roundtable in October 2015, following which former Shadow Culture and Digital Economy Minister Chi Onwurah MP said “industry-led initiatives such as the Ethical Marketing Charter will help to create clear water between ethical and unethical businesses”.
Through taking a public stand against unethical marketing practices and challenging others to follow suit, the Ethical Marketing Charter has been instrumental in raising awareness of nuisance marketing. The Charter’s first year has seen government and regulators take decisive and much-needed action to address these important issues for the benefit of consumers, with the Insurance Fraud Taskforce recommending that regulators work together to tackle cold calls and the Claims Management Regulator revising its guidance to require consent to share consumer data to third parties for marketing purposes.
Whilst the action taken by government is welcome, more needs to be done to stamp out unethical marketing practices. As a founding inaugural member, National Accident Helpline will be building on the success of the Ethical Marketing Charter by actively encouraging more businesses to sign up to the initiative to secure greater protections for consumers. Signatories will also be considering ways to strengthen the initiative, including through establishing a steering group to monitor and enforce any breaches of the initiative’s commitments, and will continue to actively make the case to government for tighter regulation on nuisance marketing.
Commenting on the one-year anniversary of the Charter, Simon Trott, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline, said:
“National Accident Helpline founded the Ethical Marketing Charter in July of last year in response to the growth in cold calling, trading of personal information and misleading advertising which all cause real harm and distress to consumers.
To secure over 60 signatories from organisations across the industry in just a year is a remarkable achievement and shows the personal injury sector’s real commitment to stamping out unethical marketing practices for the benefit of consumers.
The collective commitment of signatories has undoubtedly contributed to recent action by government and regulators to help tackle cold calls and ensure that consent is secured before sharing data to third parties for marketing purposes. Despite these steps, there is still more to do to ensure that unethical practices are a tactic of the past.
Over the coming months, we will be actively building upon the success of the Charter by encouraging more members to sign up to the initiative as well as making the case for tighter regulation on nuisance marketing to provide better protections for consumers.”
Commenting on the anniversary of the Charter, Vidisha Joshi, Head of Personal Injury at Hodge Jones & Allen LLP, said:
“With a rich heritage of campaigning on the issues that matter most to our clients, we were delighted to sign up to the Ethical Marketing Charter. It’s very important that the sector stands up against disreputable businesses that tarnish the personal injury market. Equally, it sends a strong message out to our clients about how we operate and what we believe in.”
Andrew Twambley, Founder of InjuryLawyers4u, said:
“The Ethical Marketing Charter has a crucial role to play in ensuring all businesses in the personal injury sector adhere to the highest standards on marketing. InjuryLawyers4u will continue to work alongside other signatories to drive the Charter forward over the coming year – encouraging other businesses to sign-up and helping to eradicate unethical practices in the interest of consumers."
Lesley Fereti, Head of Marketing at Lester Aldridge LLP, said:
“Ethical working practices are paramount within a law firm. We take the Ethical Marketing Charter very seriously and are proud to be an inaugural signatory.”
For more details on the Ethical Marketing Charter and how your organisation can sign up, visit www.ethicalmarketing.org.uk.
Notes to editors
About the Ethical Marketing Charter
The Ethical Marketing Charter is an industry-led initiative, established by National Accident Helpline, which allows companies in the personal injury sector to take a public stand against unethical marketing practices and to demonstrate their own commitment to ethical and professional practices which are to the benefit of consumers.
Signatories to the Charter formally and publicly pledge to three key principles and commit to stand firmly against:
Nuisance marketing – they never cold call or send spam texts or spam emails.
The unethical buying and selling of accident data – they never misuse accident data to pressure people into making a claim.
Misleading advertising – they never induce personal injury claims by making false or misleading promises in their advertising, and are clear and upfront about any exclusions to no win, no fee.
You can find out more about the Charter at www.ethicalmarketing.org.uk.
Inaugural signatories to the Charter are:
hlw Keeble Hawson
Hodge Jones Allen
National Accident Helpline
Scott Rees & Co
Further signatories to the Charter as of 15 August 2016:
Aequitas Legal Solicitors Limited
Bakers Personal Injury Solicitors
BDI Marketing Ltd
Beechwood Solutions Ltd
Boyes Turner LLP
Candesco Online Ltd
Compensation Lawyers (Scotland) Ltd
Edwards Hoyle Ltd
Elite Law Cost Drafting Ltd
Equitas solicitor’s Ltd
ESC Solutions Limited
Express Solicitors Ltd
FBC Manby Bowdler
Fieldfisher Personal Injury and Medical Negligence
Financial & Legal Insurance Company Limited
George Ide, LLP Solicitors
Harding Evans Solicitors
Hayes Connor Solicitors
HCR Debt Services
Kingsway Claims Ltd
Medical Negligence Team Limited
Michael W Halsall Solicitors
Moore Blatch LLP
Motor Accident Protection Services Ltd t/a MAPS Legal Assistance
National Claims Helpline
Nesbit Law Group LLP
P R Scully and Co Solicitors
Powell & Company Solicitors
RGM Investigations Legal Solutions
Smith Jones (Solicitors) Ltd
The Accident Claimline Ltd
Tilly Bailey & Irvine LLP
United Legal Assistance Ltd
Wilkin Chapman LLP
Wixted and Co Solicitors
WNS Legal Assistance LLP
YES Personal Injury Lawyers (part of Eaton Smith LLP)
About National Accident Helpline
National Accident Helpline (NAH) is the UK’s leading provider of personal injury advice, services and support, and represents 50 legal practices across the UK. If a consumer has suffered an accident or injury which was someone else’s fault we can help them understand if they have a legitimate claim and we will connect them with one of our specialist PI panel solicitor firms, so they can seek appropriate redress.
Through our approved network of specialist personal injury solicitor firms, we champion consumer rights for people who have suffered a personal injury, helping those with genuine claims to seek redress and secure access to justice to help aid their recovery.
NAH is an ethical and professional organisation. We have industry-leading standards and we never cold call or send spam texts or spam emails to attract new clients.
NAH is part of NAHL Group plc and is a registered company, incorporated in the UK and regulated by the Claims Management Regulator in respect of claims management activities. For more information please visit the website: www.nationalaccidenthelpline.co.uk.