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DMA HELPS CONSUMERS FIGHT BACK AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT
San Francisco, CA, October 16, 2006— The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced today the launch of a new consumer education campaign that draws upon the resources of the direct marketing community to help consumers deter, detect, and defend themselves against identity theft.
Working in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission and its "AvoID Theft" campaign, DMA has developed consumer education materials that members can customize and integrate with their own marketing efforts.
The goal of the campaign is to provide information to consumers on how they can avoid becoming victims of identity theft, and what to do if they suspect their personal information is being misused.
"Awareness is one of the most powerful tools in the fight against identity theft," said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. "Our members have at their disposal millions of daily touchpoints with consumers across all direct marketing channels. We want them to do what they do best – get this relevant and important message to people who need to hear it."
Drawing on materials developed by the Federal Trade Commission, DMA has created brochures, inserts, online advertisements, and other template materials that can be co-branded by member organizations and seamlessly integrated into current or planned direct marketing campaigns. DMA has also created a Web site (www.avoIDtheft.org) with tips and tools for consumers that DMA members can link to from their Web sites.
The message created by the FTC explains simply and effectively how consumers can: deter identity theft by safeguarding their personal information; detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring financial accounts and billing statements; and defend against identity theft as soon as a problem is suspected.
"As marketers, we have a responsibility to protect the personal data we collect against unauthorized or illegal use," said Patricia Kachura, DMA’s senior vice president for Ethics and Consumer Affairs. "But we also have an opportunity to use our unique skills to provide a real customer service by helping consumers be proactive in guarding against identity theft."
DMA members can preview campaign materials and obtain electronic files at www.the-dma.org/idtheft.
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The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel 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 end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents more than 3,600 companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 50 other nations, including a majority of the Fortune 100 companies, as well as nonprofit organizations.
In 2005, companies spent an estimated $161 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated an estimated $1.85 trillion in increased sales in 2005, or 7 percent of the $26 trillion in total sales in the US economy (which includes intermediate sales). All together, direct marketing accounted for 10.3 percent of total US GDP in 2005.
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