You are here

DATA NEWS: Closure of original Business Suppression File places question mark over the market

The future of data suppression in B2B was brought into sharp focus by the decision this month (November) by operators of the first dedicated service to cease trading.

Vic Godding, who runs The Business Suppression File on behalf of the owning co-operative, says market conditions have made its ongoing operation untenable, and as a consequence all activity on the file has ceased.

“There's no money in this market,” comments Godding. He says that the file, “was a fabulous idea, which worked well, but there wasn't the revenue there to support it. The B2B market isn't sophisticated enough to support a suppression product at the moment.”

The close-down of The Business Suppression File leaves two competing operators in this market. Jane Hockborn, senior B2B product manager at Royal Mail, which operates the Business Changes file, expressed both surprise and disappointment at the news.

“Our aim is to improve both the quality and perception of mail as a marketing medium,” she says, explaining that any competition which helps the market push towards this goal will be a good thing.

In contrast to Godding, Hockborn describes the market cautiously as “on the up,” which she believes is a result of the industry, “becoming more responsible”.

Meanwhile Chris Grey, MD of TRG Strata, which also offers B2B suppression services, is more bullish. “We've seen a dramatic upturn in interest, awareness and usage over the last 12 months,” he claims. “The market is dramatically different to how it was a year ago.”

He suggests that the market for suppression services may be changing, with smaller companies in particular demanding more than simply removing bad data. “Our Datamax product, targeted at SMEs, both cleans and updates their data,” says Grey.

Vic Godding continues as MD of Developing Data, which was not involved with the Business Suppression File, and has not been affected by the termination of its trading. He is also chair of the DMA's standing committee on B2B.