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Telephone Marketers Make Industry-Wide Commitment To Increase Self-Regulatory Efforts
The DMA to Establish New Teleservices Ethics Operating Committee to Serve as Industry Watchdog
NEW YORK, January 23, 2002 –To ensure the responsibility and growth of the $661.8 billion teleservices industry amid growing government scrutiny and consumer concerns, The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) Board of Directors has approved the establishment of a Teleservices Ethics Operating Committee. Aiming to reduce unethical telemarketing practices, the committee will review cases of alleged violations of self-regulatory guidelines and will recommend new guidelines and business practices relevant to the teleservices industry.
"Telephone marketing is a very important direct marketing channel for businesses," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "However, telephone marketing is a big target for government, consumer and media scrutiny. Because responsible marketers depend on the trust and confidence of consumers, The DMA Board of Directors unanimously voted to create this important new committee to insure continued integrity and viability of this industry."
The DMA’s new Teleservices Ethics Operating Committee will serve as an industry watchdog and will help enforce "The DMA Guidelines for Ethical Telephone Marketing Practices," "The DMA Privacy Promise," and eight specific telephone marketing practices. These include articles regarding notice, consumer choice, name removal, collection and transfer of data, and monitoring, among other practices.
Violation of any of these guidelines can result in committee recommendations of censure, suspension, or expulsion from membership to The DMA Board of Directors. The DMA Board’s decisions on these matters will be made public.
The committee will be elected by The DMA Board and will be led by a chair and at least six members. Committee members will be elected for three-year terms and will come from a variety of teleservices and other industry segments including, but not limited to, agencies, clients, technology providers, outsource services, and general marketers.
Wientzen is calling on CEOs and senior marketing executives at DMA-member companies to contact The DMA and make known their willingness to serve or recommend members for the new committee. Nominations can be sent via e-mail to email@example.com.
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.86 trillion in 2001, including $118 billion in catalog sales and $28 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web Site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.