About Contact State

Contact State was started in 2019 by Alain Desmier and Mike Laming with a mission to stop fraudulent data practices and set a new standard in consumer data exchange.

Alain Desmier
Managing Director

Alain founded and led one of the most prominent lead generation businesses in the UK and draws on a wealth of online experience in financial services marketing in Europe and the US.

Mike Laming
Technical Director

Mike is a technologist who started his career in Silicon Valley and has spent the last ten years working in innovation and digital transformation with a range of startups and FTSE 100 companies.

"I believe that every data interaction online which involves a customer's personal data, is unique and confidential. We need to do more than just ask awkward compliance questions every now and then; we need to confront fraudulent financial marketing. We must demand transparency and build trust in the customer journey again. Better, more compliant data integrity practices will make the customer experience more profitable for everyone and we will finally get rid of the consumer question 'How did you get my details?'"

Alain Desmier, Founder @ Contact State

We started Contact State because we could see there are big problems in financial services lead generation

  • Some lead generation firms use fraudulent short term tactics; misleading advertising, resell consumer data and impersonate insurance brands.
  • Disreputable lead generation activity is driving clawback rates and increasing industry bad debt.
  • Large intermediaries and insurer partners are at serious risk of being investigated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) because of claims being made by lead generators
  • Legitimate lead suppliers are being crowded out by fraudulent suppliers.
  • Lack of compliance tooling and industry coordination mean it's historically been hard to tackle the problem lead generators.

We believe that every data interaction online should generate a certificate of authenticity

  • We believe that all consumer data should be accompanied by a data certificate in much the same way a consumer receives a receipt for goods they buy in a shop.
  • We believe that all consumer data is unique and confidential, and consumers are more than 'leads'
  • We believe customer journeys should be entirely transparent
  • We believe that it should be easier for good, decent sellers and buyers to work together
  • We believe the key to building trust between parties in a two sided marketplace like advertising and product distribution requires everyone to agree on a universal standard of certification; an independent arbiter that sorts out genuine data practices from fraud.

We're working with a mix of forward thinking insurance companies, brokerages and other financial services firms and creating lasting change

  • By getting our partners to require data certificates, we're requiring rogue lead generators to change their behaviour or leave the market.
  • We regularly speak with industry groups like the Protection Distributors Group (PDG) and the Income Protection Task Force (IPTF) to stay aligned with the industry.
  • The numerous compliant and transparent protection lead generators who were undercut by fraudulent players are flourishing in the space left behind. We are working with some fanastic sellers.

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