Ladies and Gentlemen - and others
In the 'normal' world there exists a problem that you've all experienced
- it's commonly known as "junk" mail., and "junk telephone" calls.
As you all probably know (you're all so bright) before you can go after
someone for causing you harm, they have to break a law, or a rule. The
Federal Goverment, through various bodies (FCC and FTC) has enacted
certain rules that categorize certain unsolicited forms of communication
(mail, calls, fax) as being *wrong*.
They are helped by an international body that (unlike us!) actually has
enormous lobbying power. The body is a non-profit (501.c.3 I think)
known as the Direct Marketing Association http://www.the-dma.org . This
body has almost every major and minor direct marketer as a member, an
enormous operating budget, and a pot load of clout. They've helped the
feds draft rules. And their members have their sights aimed at the 'net.
Us. They believ(ed) that we'd make a great medium for them to send their
advertising (spam). Over the last year, I've managed to make them
sensitive to the fact that this is *not* a good idea. Of course, I don't
carry that much weight. But they have realized that it would be easier
to work with us than against us.
As a result, they have drafted the following position paper and rfc, and
I volunteered to post it here so that you can know where to go to make
your thoughts heard. Ignore the date.... it is still open for comment.
I urge you to respond to them. They have the clout to influence a lot of
the people who are already causing us problems
And please remember; I am *only the messenger, trying to help stop the
spamming*. At the conclusion of this email, I am in the same position as
y'all -- an unhappy recipient of SPAM. So don't try and involve me in
the argument because I brought a partial suggestion.
Genuity Inc., a Bechtel company
DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION, INC.
1120 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036-6700 · 212 768-7277 Fax:
H. ROBERT WIENTZEN PRESIDENT &. CEO
DIRECT MARKETING ASSOCIATION E-MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE REQUEST FOR
INFORMATION DECEMBER 1996
Founded in 1917, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is the largest
trade association for businesses interested in direct marketing and
database marketing. A long-time champion of consumer choice, the DMA has
historically sought to ensure that consumers are afforded opportunities
both to learn about products and services of interest to them and to
express their preferences regarding marketers' use and dissemination of
information about them.
The sole purpose of this Request for Information is to determine the
feasibility of developing a service that will enable U.S. consumers to
opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial e-mail. The service would
provide the same benefit to consumers that DMA's existing preference
services provide in that they enable consumers to reduce the amount of
advertising mail or telephone marketing calls they receive at home. This
service could be modeled after DMA's existing services, described below.
DMA anticipates that this Request for Information is expected to lead to
a request for proposals if DMA, at its sole discretion, determines such
request to be in its best interest. However, DMA does not request
proposals at this time, nor can it make assurances that it will do so in
Please return information responses by close of business January 20,
1997, to the Direct Marketing Association, 1111 19th Street, NW, Suite
1100, Washington, D.C. 20036, Attention: Patricia Faley, Vice President
for Consumer Affairs. Please direct all inquiries to Patricia Faley at
(202) 955-5030 (telephone) or (202) 955-0085 or e-mail at:
The DMA is the largest trade association for businesses interested in
direct marketing, which includes the use of databases. DMA represents
mere than 3,000 United States corporations as well as 600 corporations
from 47 other countries. DMA members use all media to reach their
customers and prospects - mail, telephone, direct response TV, radio,
home shopping networks, as well as cyberspace. A recently released
three-year study conducted by The WEFA Group found that in 1995 American
consumers purchased nearly $600 billion in goods and services, and
American businesses purchased nearly another $500 billion in goods and
services, via direct response (all media).
Over the years, DMA has initiated an array of consumer protection and
education programs. Among them, DMA adopted guidelines for ethical
business practice and established a peer review committee to respond to
cases of alleged guideline violations brought to its attention. It
published and distributed in 25 countries the DMA Fair Information
Practices Manual - a step-by-step "how to" manual designed to assist
businesses in developing and implementing companies' policies and
procedures on the use of information about consumers. And it established
the Mail Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service, which are
offered free of charge to give consumers the ability to remove their
names individually from the lists of major marketers, which reduces the
amount of advertising mail and telephone marketing calls consumers
receive at home.
Although many direct marketers are somewhat new to the business of
marketing on-line, DMA established a dialogue with its members,
policymakers, and cyber consumers about marketing in the new media. It
has disseminated to its members privacy principles developed jointly
with the Interactive Services Association, participated in Federal Trade
Commission workshops, and established a parents' page on its Web site
with hyperlinks to the sites of software vendors offering programs that
enable parents to take a more active role over what their children view
and do on the Internet. DMA also is developing a "how to" package, which
can be downloaded from its Web site, that will enable marketers easily
to create accurate and effective privacy notices for their Web sites.