By: 25 August 2016
Personal injury Ethical Marketing Charter secures 62 signatories

The personal injury sector’s Ethical Marketing Charter, set up by National Accident Helpline in 2015, has now secured 62 signatories.

The charter, which recently marked its one year anniversary, commits its adherents to never use misleading advertising, trade in accident data or engage in cold calling.

National Accident Helpline and seven inaugural signatories launched the 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.

During the charter’s first year the Government and various regulators have taken steps to help achieve the aims of the charter. The Insurance Fraud Taskforce has recommended that regulators work together to tackle cold calls and the Claims Management Regulator has revised its guidance to require consent before sending consumer data to third parties for marketing purposes.

National Accident Helpline has said that it will be building on the success of the charter by actively encouraging more businesses to sign up to it. It will also ask signatories to consider ways to strengthen the initiative, and establish a steering group to monitor and enforce any breaches of the initiative’s commitments.

Simon Trott, managing director of National Accident Helpline, said that the charter had been created to counter the bad practices in the personal injury sector that were causing 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,” he said.

“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.”

Vidisha Joshi, head of personal injury at Hodge Jones & Allen, which was one of the first firms to sign up to the charter, 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, another signatory, said his organisation would be encouraging other businesses to sign up and help “eradicate unethical practices in the interest of consumers”.

“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,” said Twambley.