Volume 9 (2005)


The disclosure of detailed, non-transactional individual-level consumer information for direct marketing purposes is essentially voluntary in nature. This raises the possibility that those consumers who elect to disclose such information may be atypical of the general population. Using 256 personal interviews and a case study this paper explores demographic and value system differences between contributors of personal information and abstainers, and provides an interpretive insight into the reasons underlying the differences.

The results of this study reveal that consumers who voluntarily contribute personal information for direct marketing purposes are different to those who abstain, both qualitatively and with respect to values, prompting a re-appraisal of current targeting and customer profiling methods.


Robertshaw, G and Marr, N (2005), "Voluntary Disclosures of Personal Information for Direct Marketing Purposes: A Quantitative and Qualitative Comparison of Differences between Contributors and Abstainers", Journal of Empirical Generalisations in Marketing Science, Vol. 9, No. 1