Marketing Federation of South Africa (MFSA)

(declaration on the rules of practice for junk mail)


This Code is extracted for the Code of Practice of the Marketing Federation of Southern Africa, and should be read in conjunction with that document. Adherence to this Code is compulsory for members of the mfsa.

General Principles

Members must remember that the maintenance of or ownership of names and addresses may contain data of a personal nature and such data must not be abused. The following criteria must be adhered to:

  • The use of personal data may be used only if the list owner and advertiser make offers that apply directly to the personal information available and that may not be construed as an abuse of privileged information.
  • Advertisers will be obliged to make available information of a personal nature that may be contained in the database according to part 3 of "Rights of Data Subjects" below.
  • Personal data in respect of which services are provided by either the list owner or a computer bureau managing such lists, shall not be disclosed without the prior authority of the list owner or company for whom those services are provided. Such authority must always be recorded in a contractual format.
  • Care must be taken to ensure that promotions are directed at those individuals who are most likely to have use for the products or services offered.

Media Preference Service and "Do-not-contact" lists

Members shall subscribe to the mfsa’ s Media Preference Service (Mail, Telephone and Fax Preference services), and make every reasonable attempt to remove from lists used or provided by them all subscribers to the Service.


Where individuals have requested that their names be removed from a member’s own list for marketing purposes, the member shall maintain an in-house suppression file or "do-not-contact list", and make every reasonable attempt to remove from lists used or provided by them all subscribers to the file.

Rights of Data Subjects

Individuals shall be entitled to the following information or services:

  • To be informed - on request - by any data user whether the data held may include personal data of which that individual is the data subject.
  • To be supplied - on request - by any data user with a copy of the information constituting any such personal data held by him. Should such information be expressed in terms which are not intelligible to the consumer (e.g. computer language) the information shall be accompanied by an explanation of those terms.
  • The data user shall not be obliged to supply any information except in response to a request in writing, providing that the inquirers provide sufficient proof of identity that the information required applies to them. For this service, the data users may charge a reasonable fee - at their discretion - for computer or administrative time involved in providing such information.
  • Providing the aforementioned procedures are followed, the data user will be obliged to supply the requested information within 40 days of receiving the request, unless for administrative reasons the applicant is advized as to the justifiable reason for any delay.
  • Advertisers shall respect the title vested in the ownership of lists and shall not use such lists for purposes not agreed by their owners.

Data Protection

Except where it is obvious from the context or where the individuals already know, members collecting personal information from individuals must inform them at the time of collection:

  • who is collecting it, and
  • why it is being collected.

If it is intended to disclose that information to others (including to associated companies) the member must inform the individuals of that intention, unless they already know, and give them an opportunity to object before the first disclosure. Where members collect personal information from public sources, they do not need to comply with this section.


Access to personal data, or requests for personal data may be refused if such disclosure will be detrimental to any of the following purposes:

  • The prevention or detection of crime;
  • The apprehension or prosecution of offenders; or
  • The assessment or collection of any tax or duty.

Source: MFSA
select Marketing Codes
select mfsa Data Privacy code
which will download "mfsa_Data_Privacy_Code.pdf"


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