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DMA Statement: FTC 'Data Broker' Investigation Will Highlight Invaluable Benefits of Data-Driven Marketing to Consumers and Economy
New York, NY, December 18, 2012 – The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today responded to news that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched an investigation into “data brokers” by expressing confidence that any such inquiry will highlight the responsible use of consumer information by data-driven marketers – and the significant benefits derived by consumers from those practices.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today responded to news that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched an investigation into “data brokers” by expressing confidence that any such inquiry will highlight the responsible use of consumer information by data-driven marketers – and the significant benefits derived by consumers from those practices.
The FTC issued orders today requiring nine “data broker” companies to provide the Commission with information about how they collect and use data about consumers. According to the FTC, a “data broker” is a company that collects personal information about consumers from a variety of public and non-public sources and resells the information to other companies.
“DMA welcomes the FTC’s closer look into the business and privacy practices of what they characterize as ‘data brokers,’” said Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s senior vice president of government affairs. “Data-driven marketing fosters competition online by ensuring that large and small actors have the ability to reach consumers across the Internet. This, in turn, gives consumers greater opportunities to find the goods and services they desire at prices they can afford. The FTC’s inquiry will certainly bring to light these and other important benefits that responsible data-driven marketing provides to consumers — and to the American economy as a whole.”
Commercial data practices are essential to America’s job creation, economic growth, and global leadership. In the digital age, data-driven marketing is the fuel on which America’s free market engine runs. This year, data-driven marketing accounts for 8.7 percent of the total U.S. gross domestic product. Data-driven marketers — both commercial and nonprofit — collectively fuel 9.2 million U.S. jobs. From global brands to start-ups, data-driven marketing helps companies to find customers, grow, and create jobs.
“The incredible growth of ecommerce — with online spending on Cyber Monday soaring to $1.46 billion this year — is strong evidence that consumers are delighted with the results of data-driven marketing, and that the American economy is growing stronger as a result,” Cerasale said. “Consumers are voting online with their time, attention — and pocketbooks. E-commerce is exploding because responsible data-driven marketing is meeting consumers’ needs and providing precisely the products and services, discounts, and offers that they desire — exactly when they want them.”
About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing. Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.
In 2012, marketers — commercial and nonprofit —will spend $168.5 billion on direct marketing, which accounts for 52.7 percent of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures will generate approximately $2.05 trillion in incremental sales. In 2012, direct marketing accounts for 8.7 percent of total US gross domestic product and produces1.3 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly support 7.9 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.2 million US jobs.
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