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THE DMA: PROPOSED OPT-IN LAW COULD CRIPPLE DIRECT MARKETING IN MEXICO
NEW YORK, August 27, 2002 Ė The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today called on the direct and interactive marketing industry to support the Mexican DMA in its lobbying activities against a proposed onerous Federal Personal Data Protection Law. The proposed law, which would legislate mandatory opt-in requirements for the use of all personal data by companies for marketing purposes, would severely cripple the development of direct marketing in Mexico. The bill also would make it illegal to transfer personal data to other companies, such as for list rental, or to send data outside Mexico to the United States.
Unless significant opposition can be mobilized, the law could be adopted by the Mexican Congress in its fall session, threatening the continued growth of the 40.7 billion peso ($546 million USD) direct marketing industry in Mexico and its 139,000 jobs.
"The bill, if passed, will cripple the development of direct marketing in Mexico," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "It will also dramatically reduce the amount of foreign investment in other allied areas, such as information technology, thereby reducing Mexico's ability to become a bigger player in the 21st century economy."
"The implications are disastrous for DMA member companies in the U.S. and all companies with operations in Mexico," said Charles Prescott, vice president, international business development and government affairs, The DMA. "If a company is developing databases for marketing or for enterprise management, such as human resources, you wonít be able to bring the data to the United States, and what you will be able to do in Mexico will be severely limited," Prescott added.
A task force of companies, among them Readerís Digest and American Express, has been formed by the Mexican DMA to lobby on these and other issues. Companies wishing to participate can contact Roxana Penagos, Regional Legal Director for Latin America, Readerís Digest Mexico, at Roxana_Penagos@ReadersDigest.com.
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 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 $30 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.