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THE DMA SUPPORTS SENATE ON PASSAGE OF NATIONAL ANTI- SPAM LAW
NEW YORK, October 23, 2003 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today voiced its support for Senators John McCain (R-Arizona), Conrad Burns (R-Montana) and Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) of the Commerce Committee, and Senators Orin Hatch (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) of the Judiciary Committee, and the United States Senate for the passage of S. 877, the CAN-SPAM Act. The bill effectively creates a national standard for e-mail that clearly distinguishes legitimate commercial e-mail from unlawful spam.
The DMA is concerned, however, about the inclusion of a provision that could potentially lead to the creation of a national do-not-e-mail registry.
"Yesterday’s Senate passage of the CAN-SPAM Act is a great victory in the battle against spam because it delineates legitimate commercial e-mail from spam, and criminalizes anyone who would take advantage of the Internet to send spam to consumers," said H. Robert Wientzen, president and CEO, The DMA. "Federal legislation is a vital component of this difficult effort, and we hope that the House will act quickly to get a national spam law ready for the President’s signature as soon as possible."
"We are especially pleased that the bill pre-empts state spam laws," said Wientzen. "The current patchwork of disparate state laws has become a punishing compliance challenge for law-abiding marketers while doing nothing to reduce the amount of spam in consumers’ inboxes."
Legitimate e-mail marketing is a promising vehicle for global commerce. A survey commissioned by The DMA earlier this year found that 45.8 million Americans made at least one purchase in the previous 12 months in response to a legitimate e-mail advertisement for bedrock goods and services such as books, travel and clothing, representing at least $7.1 billion in sales. Significantly, 9 percent of American e-mail users made a purchase in response to an unsolicited commercial e-mail.
"A do-not-e-mail list is not the silver bullet to stopping spam, and Congress should be careful not to throw out the baby with the bathwater," said Wientzen. "Spammers hide in the shadows of cyberspace – concealing their identities, sometimes committing fraud, and never respecting the wishes of consumers. Our members, and other legitimate marketers across the country, respect consumers’ preferences and adhere to the pillars of responsible e-mail."
"Spammers show no signs that they would suddenly comply with a no-spam list," said Wientzen. "At the end of the day, a do-not-e-mail list would punish law-abiding small- and mid-sized companies, who are trying to break into the marketplace, while doing absolutely nothing to stop the most egregious perpetuators of spam."
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.