Personal injury firms have launched an ethical charter to crack down on unprofessional marketing practices in the industry.
National Accident Helpline and seven law firms, including Leeds solicitors Emsleys, have come up with the Ethical Marketing Charter, which aims to stamp out bad practice - including cold calling - and ensure consumers are more adequately protected.
Companies that sign up to the charter will pledge to abide by three key principles:
1. Nuisance marketing – to never cold call or send spam texts or spam emails.
2. The unethical buying and selling of accident data – they will not misuse accident data to pressure people into making a claim.
3. Misleading advertising – they will never induce personal injury claims by making false or misleading promises in their advertising, and will be upfront about any exclusions to the no win, no fee arrangements which fund the majority of claims.
Andrew Greenwood, director and head of personal injury at Emsleys, said: “The Ethical Marketing Charter is exactly the type of initiative to help us show our ethical credentials to clients and put pressure on those companies that use nuisance marketing to change their practices. Not only will the charter help to protect clients, but ethical players in the personal injury sector will also benefit and help more people access the justice they deserve.”
The new scheme was set up in response to a growth in cold calling, trading of personal information and misleading advertising by rogue operators within the sector.
It has already received backing from across the political spectrum, regulators and representative bodies, including the Legal Ombudsman.
Nuisance marketing has come under particular scrutiny with regulator Ofcom finding that 86 per cent of people receive at least one call every four weeks.
For more information, visit www.ethicalmarketingcharter.org.uk