Changes in the way firms can use the electoral roll for marketing purposes have forced information giant Equifax to create a new customer database, Dimensions 2000.

From next year, individuals will be given an option on the electoral register form to opt out of all direct marketing campaigns.

The changes, instigated by the Data Protection Registrar, have prompted Equifax to create the new product, which incorporates lifestyle information on 15 million individuals.

Included in the new database is information on 44 million individuals and 23 million addresses from the electoral roll, although this will be reduced to 15 million individuals when the new rules take effect.

Equifax marketing services product development manager, Stuart Dagg, said: “Dimensions 2000 is a comprehensive single source of information on consumers today, enabling targeting right down to the individual level.”

Dimensions 2000 can calculate lifestyle information against 200 different criteria and marketeers can access the product from their PCs.

Equifax has aggregated its consumer credit database to create a definitive credit profile for each of the UK's 1.6m postcodes.

The lifestyle database has been compiled using data syndicated from several large UK firms. The database features information on topics such as income, company/private car ownership, holidays, share ownership details, and even which newspaper a person reads.

Brokers and insurers can also find out what motivates customers when buying financial products.

This aspect of the database, called MicroMatch, shows which customers are receptive to new ideas, which prefer to buy established products, and which are loyal to their current product providers, no matter what.