London: Kate Middleton’s parents are minting money these days by selling the names and addresses of wealthy young mothers to mail order companies.
Most clients of the Party Pieces website – which sells toys, decorations and fancy-dress costumes – are affluent women with young children, so the information is particularly valuable.
Their database of details could be resold at a possible 20,000 dollars per time to different firms who want to send out targeted advertisements, reports a daily.
Details of customers who had bought from the firm in the past year were sold for 120 pounds per 1,000 names through the broker Fig Tree DM, or £100 for less-recent data, a daily claimed yesterday.
In 2008 an article about the company in Marketing Week said, “Profiling confirms the ABC1 nature of this proven mail-order buyer file, making it a prime file for targeting upmarket females and mothers.”
In 2000 another magazine – Precision Marketing, which no longer exists – advertised a Party Pieces database of 232,370 names.
It said, “The list is ideal for book clubs, financial and travel companies, charities and female-related promotions.”
The Party Pieces database has now been taken over by Jaywing DMG.
Its spokesman said, “Party Pieces isn’t alone in trading its data on the basis of the age of the children. Obviously it’s not the children’s information that’s traded. It’s the parents’ or guardians’ information. Everything is done in line with the Data Protection Act.”
Chris Combemale, executive director of the industry regulator Direct Marketing Association, said, “Party Pieces are not members of the DMA. But it does seem to be fully honourable and a very well-run business. They have never had a complaint against them to the Information Commissioner.”
A source close to the Middleton family said last night, “This is a privately-run business and is not obliged to answer questions about what they do about their data.
“This is a very successful business that employs about 13 people and has done nothing wrong.”