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DMA Statement On Use Of Technology To Evade Consumer Opt-Out Preference
NEW YORK, March 4, 2003 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today strongly stated its objection to marketers' use of any technology developed with the intention of undermining consumers' explicit or obvious preferences not to be contacted.
"Since the early 1970s, The DMA and its members have been committed to observing consumer preferences – both in whether they wish to be contacted by a specific marketer and in what media channels they wish to be contacted," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "The use of any technology manufactured and intended to be used with the purpose of thwarting consumers' obvious preferences should not be implemented by commercial direct marketers."
The DMA noted, however, that scofflaws should not be permitted to hide behind the shield of marketing preferences to shirk their financial and legal obligations. Therefore, it is in the interest of all consumers to ensure that debt collecting agencies are equipped with the necessary tools to seek out those who would evade paying their legitimate bills.
In addition, The DMA supports the forthcoming requirements that marketers transmit Caller ID so that consumers will know who is calling them and how to contact the marketer. Transmission of Caller ID does not constitute a use of technology to thwart consumer choice. Rather, it enhances consumer choice.
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 are projected to have surpassed $2 trillion in 2002, including $126 billion in catalog sales and $34 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.