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DMA S PRESCOTT DISCUSSES INTERNATIONAL SCOPE OF SPAM EPIDEMIC AT OECD WORKSHOP
NEW YORK, February 2, 2004 - The Direct Marketing Association’s (The DMA) Vice President of International Business Development and Government Affairs, Charles Prescott, delivered a presentation titled "The Static in the System: Acute and Chronic" during the opening panel discussion for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) spam workshop in Brussels, Belgium, on February 2, 2004.
"The DMA looks forward to working with Commissioner Erkki Liikanen and the Article 29 Working Party, as well as the OECD's Committee on Consumer Policy, which is chaired by Commissioner Mozelle Thompson of the Federal Trade Commission, to help develop further strategies to deal with the scourge of spam, while preserving e-mail as a vehicle for legitimate communications," said Prescott.
"This week’s international spam workshop is a positive step in the fight against spam," said Prescott. "Spam doesn’t stop at political boundaries; indeed, it is a global problem that will require international cooperation if it is to be successfully addressed."
In his presentation, Prescott argued in defense of the CAN SPAM Act that was recently enacted in the United States as preferable to the EU’s e-mail directive. "The U.S. statute enables smaller businesses with smaller budgets to enter a market," he explained. "Of course, we place strong emphasis on the need for targeting."
"Bottom line: You must not forget that, like most things in life, 80 percent of the problem is caused by fewer than 5 percent of the actors," he added. "The real source of the spam problem is senders who won’t comply with any law. Laws distinguish between spam and commercial e-mail. Laws that only hinder the growth of law-abiding businesses do nothing to address the true problem at hand."
Regarding the topic of cross-border e-mail marketing, Prescott said "I am convinced that U.S. businesses interested in foreign markets will, in most cases, honor the "law of the country of destination." The single most frequent question I get from my members, both American and European, is what they should do to ensure that they’re in compliance. The OECD background paper is an invaluable contribution to that end. Last year,The DMA also published an executive summary of international spam laws, which gives marketers a ‘quick-glance’ reference tool when considering sending e-mail abroad."
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 economic-impact study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States are projected to have surpassed $1.7 trillion in 2003, including $133 billion in catalog sales and $41 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.