In July 2015, National Accident Helpline founded the Ethical Marketing Charter which aims to promote ethical and professional marketing practices in the personal injury sector. The Charter is an industry-led initiative and was launched in conjunction with seven inaugural law firm signatories and widespread backing from across the political spectrum, regulators and representative bodies. The Charter now has over 60 signatories and will help to stamp out bad practice by rogue operators and ensure consumers are more adequately protected.
Signatories to the Charter all formally and publicly 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 the no win, no fee arrangements which fund the majority of claims.
The Charter was developed in response to the growth in cold calling, trading of personal information and misleading advertising by rogue players from numerous industry sectors – all of which can harm consumers and leave them feeling angry, harassed and vulnerable.
Nuisance marketing has come under particular scrutiny, with the regulator Ofcom finding that 86% of people receive at least one call every four weeks and a number of media reports exposing the harmful effect that cold calls can have upon the most vulnerable in society. The extent of the problem has seen government and regulators begin to take action – with the Information Commissioner’s powers to impose fines on cold callers being strengthened and the Insurance Fraud Taskforce set to investigate the link between unethical marketing practices and fraud. However, political will alone is not enough. As a sector which is often singled out for unethical marketing practices – the personal injury sector itself must take decisive steps to eradicate these practices.
“As a leading firm in the personal injury sector, National Accident Helpline believes that it is time for the industry to take a proactive approach to stamping out bad practice and to provide greater protection for consumers.
We all recognise that marketing in a responsible, ethical way is best practice and the Ethical Marketing Charter will help to ensure that it’s the only viable way for those working in the personal injury sector to approach consumers.”
Russell Atkinson, CEO , NAHL Group plc