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THE DMA URGES CONGRESS TO EXPAND SUPPORT OF FTC CAN-SPAM INITIATIVES Also Calls For Greater International Coordination To Fight Fraud
New York, March 21, 2005 — Upholding its commitment to support enforcement of the CAN-SPAM Act, the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) is urging Congress to build on the recent litigation successes of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), state Attorneys General, and private Internet Service Providers (ISP) by allocating additional federal funds to support anti-spam initiatives.
“While the overall volume of spam has been reduced, the relative volume of spam versus legitimate e-mail continues to inhibit consumer trust and threaten e-commerce,” said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president, government affairs, The DMA. “The CAN-SPAM Act is working, but greater enforcement will improve that performance. We need to build on the recent litigation successes of federal and state agencies and the private sector, by duplicating those efforts more broadly through the industry and dedicating additional resources to law enforcement.”
The CAN-SPAM Act has been in force since January 1, 2004. Since that time, ISPs have used the law to file lawsuits against alleged spammers, and the Act has started to impact the amount of spam received.
According to a survey commissioned by The DMA, one year ago, the average consumer received 137 pieces of spam e-mail per week. That number has been reduced to 78 pieces of spam per week. The percentage of e-mail in individuals’ inboxes viewed as spam also has declined, from 60.4 percent in February 2004 to 53.1 percent in February 2005.
Table 1: DMA Spam-tracking Survey Summary
The DMA maintains that greater cooperation between law enforcement authorities and the private sector, especially ISPs, is crucial to reducing the use of fraudulent spam e-mail. Over the past few years, The DMA has taken steps to help in the fight against fraudulent e-mail. Last year, the Association began providing funding to the National Cyber-Forensic Training Alliance, which is working with the FBI to fight fraudulent spam.
Internationally, The DMA also is very encouraged by the FTC’s continued efforts to develop stronger relationships with law enforcement authorities from other countries and supports additional Congressional action that would further strengthen these initiatives. “Fraud knows no boundaries, and it is important that the FTC have the authority and funding it needs to work cooperatively with its overseas counterparts to combat this problem,” said Cerasale.
About the DMA
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading trade association for businesses and organizations interested in direct, interactive, and database marketing, which in 2004 generated more than $2.3 trillion in US sales, including $143.3 billion in catalog sales and $52.5 billion in Web-driven sales. In addition to catalogs and the Web, DMA members employ a wide variety of marketing media, including mail, e-mail, telephone, newspapers and magazines, interactive television, and radio, among others. Founded in 1917, The DMA today has more than 5,200 corporate, affiliate, and chapter members from the US and 44 other nations, including 53 companies listed on the Fortune 100. Reflecting the significant and growing role that direct marketing plays in today’s advertising mix, The DMA’s membership represents marketers from every business segment, including catalogers, Internet retailers, retail stores, nonprofit organizations, advertising agencies, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, industrial manufacturers, and a host of other vertical segments, as well as the service industries that support marketers.
 The polls were conducted by TNS and Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of The DMA.