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DMA Ethics Committee Update
Washington, DC, January 23, 2006 – The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA’s) Committee on Ethical Business Practice has released a revised update on actions undertaken in the second half of 2005 to investigate consumer complaints about direct marketing practice.
In December, the Committee reported that three companies failed to cooperate with the Committee toward reaching appropriate complaint resolutions. Intelius, an online reference (or look-up) service to locate individuals, headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, initially had failed to confirm that sources of information for the reference service did not include marketing data, and whether and how consumers could remove their names from the service. Since the December report, however, Intelius, a current DMA member, confirmed that marketing data are not used in its reference service and provided information as to how consumers can remove their names.
"The vast majority of cases reviewed by DMA Ethics Committees are usually resolved," said Patricia Kachura, DMA’s senior vice president for ethics and consumer affairs. "We are pleased that when contacted as part of our investigations, companies almost always take steps to improve their processes and come into compliance with our guidelines."
DMA’s Committee on Ethical Business Practice, comprised of 15 executives from DMA member companies, investigates and examines mailings and offerings made throughout the direct marketing field based on complaints and inquiries received. Between July and November 2005, DMA Ethics Committees heard 20 cases, six of which were on general advertising, including off and online promotions and practices, six on telemarketing practices and eight on the collection, use and maintenance of marketing data.
Individuals who have received a direct marketing solicitation that they believe is in violation of applicable laws or DMA ethical guidelines are encouraged to file a complaint with the Committee on Ethical Business Practice. More information is available online athttp://www.the-dma.org/guidelines/ethicscomplaintform.pdf.
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of business and nonprofit organizations using and supporting direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates industry standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the entire direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today has more than 4,800 corporate, affiliate, and chapter members from the US and 46 other nations, including 55 companies listed on the Fortune 100.
In 2005, companies will spend more than $161 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures are expected to generate $1.85 trillion in increased sales in 2005, or 7% of the $26 trillion in total sales in the US economy (which includes intermediate sales). All together, direct marketing will account for 10.3% of total US GDP in 2005.
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.