A warning has gone out from The Interactive Media in Retail Group that efforts to self-regulate e-retailing are failing. The comments came as a new code of practice was unveiled this week by national self-regulatory body Trust UK.
IMRG has studied the e-retail sector since 1990 and launched a code of practice for e-commerce in 1997.
It is now introducing an on-line training programme on the use of the code to help companies improve practice. Existing IMRG members include Arcadia Group, BT, Debenhams, IBM, Microsoft and Marks & Spencer.
IMRG chief executive James Roper says: “Existing law provides strong protection to retailers and consumers. However, the mechanisms that facilitate enforcement of retail law are not yet tuned to cope with the many new types of problems that e-shopping is presenting.
“The explosion of e-commerce is attracting a plethora of new codes of practice, kite marks and would-be self-regulators. The old guard is desperately attempting to maintain the status quo while new players are jumping on the bandwagon. Confusion is proliferating.”
Roper concludes, “The real industry problems are being ignored and the market is finding itself increasingly exposed to real and present danger.”