2003-2004 campaign regarding ADMA wanting ACCC authorisation again

Please see the 2005/2006 page for the latest developments.

Please also see this ACCC page for their 2003/2004 decision:

The various submissions to this process turn up in the page on the 2005 draft decision:

The Australian Direct Marketing Association ADMA http://www.adma.com.au has applied to the ACCC to gain authorisation for a modified version of its Code of Conduct regarding direct marketing.   The initial authorisation was vigorously opposed by the advocates in 1999, and now here we go again showing the ACCC all the reasons why ADMA should not be the governnent-approved "industry-body" for regulating telemarketing (in particular) in Australia, and also arguably direct mail.  Such approval misleads the public into thinking that self-regulation is adequate regulation of this intrusive communications problem - but other countries, notably the USA, have successfully implemented serious, legislated controls for telemarketing.  See my and Chris Connolly's submissions below for all the details.

On 20 October 2003 the ACCC wrote to me and other advocates that ADMA has withdrawn its application so that it can update it so that it can address some of the issues raised by the advocates, and to "implement changes reflected in the Model Code of Practice for Direct Marketing":


On 3 February 2004, the ACCC wrote again, with ADMA's revised "Direct Marketing Code of Practice".  The deadline for submissions is 27 February 2004.

A Word file of their new draft Code, with changes highlighted in red, is here:

My second submission is a short document to accompany my first submission.  They are both in the rw/ directory listed below.

- Robin Whittle  rw@firstpr.com.au   Last update 25 February 2004.

Up to the main telemarketing page, with submissions and other material from 1999, including tips on how to get off the two main telemarketer CD-ROMs in Australia.

My initial submission on 12 September 2003 and my second submission 25 February 2004:

Likewise, a directory for submissions from Chris Connolly - Director of the Financial Services Consumer Policy Centre.

Other submissions with some extracts:

The Consumers' Federation of Australia (CFA) submits that the ACCC should not renew authorisation of the Australian Direct Marketing Association Code of Practice.

The existence of industry codes can act to prevent, or delay, the introduction of more effective regulation.   Therefore, in determining the net public benefit of a code, it is important for the ACCC to consider whether authorisation may have this result.  In the case of the ADMA Code, consumer groups believe that telemarketing is an area where tighter regulation is required, including a national, Government run, "do not call" register. 

Authorisation of the ADMA Code would provide very little, if any, benefit for consumers.  However it would be likely to delay any effective approach to the growing problems of direct marketing and would provide the industry, in the public's mind, with ACCC approval.

The Consumers' Federation of Australia supports and endorses the arguments contained in the submission made by the Financial Services Consumer Policy Centre.

We are unaware of any of these firms being members of the ADMA. Furthermore, there is little in the ADMA Code of Conduct that would have assisted these consumers had it applied.

CCLC strongly opposes authorisation of the renewal of the authorisation of the Australian Direct Marketing Association's Code of Practice as it does not provide effective protection for many of our clients and therefore appears to needlessly inhibit competition. It is also of great concern to CCLC that ACCC approval for the Code could potentially inhibit or delay other initiatives that could provide more effective controls and remedies than the Code.

I hope to have other submssions here soon.

The ACCC has ADMA's application and related documents at its site, as PDFs:


The ACCC's original decision, authorising ADMA's code in 1999, is here:

There's an ACIF SMS code I want to look at: