EQUIFAX ON A ROLL Equifax has reported strong fourth quarter revenue growth of 6%. Operating income for the quarter was up 14%.
Operating margin was 24.7%, up 190 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2010.Th
e company reported revenue from continuing operations of $509.7m in the fourth quarter of 2011.
NBD APPOINTS MANAGER Sarah Delaney-Jones has joined NBD the premier new business data supplier, as account manager to assist its expansion plans. New Business Data is a division of data8.
Antony Allen, Managing Director of data8, said: “We are pleased to welcome Sarah on board to help in the expansion plans for our New Business Data division. With her previous experience with Barbour-ABI she will bring a wealth of account management experience. We have ambitious growth targets for New Business Data in 2012 and Sarah joins our team to help meet those targets.”
COUNCILS FALLING SHORT Five councils breached the Data Protection Act by failing to keep people’s personal information secure, Information Commissioner, Christopher Graham, has said.
“At a time when councils are increasingly working with community partners, when data is shared it is vital that they uphold their legal responsibilities under the Data Protection Act. Failures not only put local residents’ privacy at risk, but also mean that councils could be in line for a sizeable monetary penalty.”
PSMA 200TH MEMBER Ordnance Survey has confirmed that the 2000th member joins the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) just nine months after it was launched. Tatenhill Parish Council in East Staffordshire is the latest public sector organisation to sign up.
4 February 2012 Direct mail
DMA: DM faces 20% cost hike under new proposals
The Direct Marketing association has publicly stated its concern that proposed changes to postal regulations to remove price controls on Royal Mail’s commercial bulk mailing services will lead to its exemption from VAT liabilities – which could leave businesses open to further cost increases.
Existing HMRC guidelines make it clear that bulk mail is exempt from VAT charges but the removal of price controls, proposed by Ofcom in a public consultation that closed earlier this month, would automatically make bulk mail services and products liable for VAT. The nightmare scenario is that, unless Ofcom revises its proposals as a result of responses to its consultation, then restrictions on price controls will be lifted on 2nd April and direct mail bills could rise by 20%.
While most businesses can claim
back VAT payments, charities and companies working in the financial services – two of the biggest users of advertising mail – cannot. Mike Lordan, Chief of Operations for the DM,A believes that a mandatory 20% increase, coupled with a potential rise in
product and service costs, would seriously damage the long-term prospects of advertising mail. He said: “The prospect of VAT charges is a serious financial issue for users of bulk mail, but the industry is being left in the dark by HMRC and Royal Mail who have yet to clarify the details about the changes. “We need to know if the possibility of adding VAT is based on current guidelines or some as-yet unannounced plans, and if VAT will be collected from 2nd April or if there will be a grace period. Most companies can claim back VAT, but this additional cost needs to be factored into cashflow planning. Financial services businesses and charities need to factor this extra cost into their budgets.
“These additional costs could
well prove to be the final straw for many companies that will abandon the medium in favour of more competitively-priced marketing channels.”
It is worth bearing in mind that
commercial bulk mail users represent Royal Mail’s biggest customers and underwrite the cost of an affordable Universal Service. Companies that use mail for sending customer bills or statements were squeezed by a 15%-20% price increase in 2011 on the cost of transactional bulk mail services, says the DMA. Many have indicated they plan to withdraw from using mail if Royal Mail takes advantage of its new commercial freedom to impose another round of large price increases.
Scientia launches 24 hour data promise
Consumer data supplier Scientia Data, a division of The REaD Group, has unveiled a new commitment to deliver consumer data ordered by clients within 24 hours of the order being placed. Dee Toomey, Managing Director of Scientia Data, commented: “Today’s direct marketing industry needs data much faster, but most data providers haven’t evolved to meet the demand. “Technology now allows marketers to turn campaigns round much faster, and that often means they need data the day before. Scientia Data meets that need with
our 24-hour promise that clients will get the high quality data they need, as soon as they need it.” The promise became effective this month with Scientia hoping that it will steal a march on many of its competitors who can often take three to four days to supply clients with the data they need.
The company’s speed of service is
relied on by many clients who run regular and time-critical campaigns, and the new 24-hour promise allows Scientia Data to differentiate itself further from competitors that don’t meet the fast-paced demands of the modern direct marketing industry.
Sam Galloway, Associate Director
at direct marketing specialists Response One is a client who has come to rely on the service: “For a lot of our clients’ campaigns we need fast turnaround times on our data. If we fall short, we need top ups to be supplied urgently. “We turn to Scientia not only because of the quality of its data, but also because of the accuracy and speed of the service that it provides us with. “It promises data within 24 hours – though we generally receive it in less which is great for us as a business.”
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