NEW YORK, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today announced plans to enhance DMAChoice, with the latest evolution of DMA's Mail Preference Service (MPS), and remove the $1 verification fee online, to help consumers decide what catalogs they receive in their mailbox. The $1 charge had been an integral part of the MPS validation process. For the first time, DMA will allow consumers to opt out of mailing lists by individual brands for free online through DMAChoice, accessible to consumers at www.dmachoice.org. In addition, consumers will be able to select the catalogs they do wish to receive. DMAChoice has been enhanced to provide consumers greater choice and will assure the catalog community with the most reliability, security, authenticity, and control. "DMA's Mail Preference Service, part of DMAChoice, is now the most effective and secure way for consumers to only receive the mail they want and to express their preferences for mailings they do not want -- it's all about relevance," said DMA President & CEO John A. Greco, Jr. "DMAChoice is the portal for consumer choice. It is where consumers can go to modify their mail and email preferences. Our long-term vision is to build a community where consumers can interact with marketers -- learn about opportunities, offers, coupons, and special events marketers develop for consumers." "Through DMAChoice, we will include tips on how to be a smart shopper with sage advice on how to protect yourself online through fraud alerts, all available online," continued Greco. "Eventually, we hope to create an environment where consumers can communicate with one another. It is yet another example of how DMA and its members are moving proactively to regulate ourselves and promote the choice of consumers." "As a result of this latest upgrade, consumers have greater control over their mail," said Steven K. Berry, DMA executive vice president, government affairs and corporate responsibility. "The elimination of the $1 verification fee online is a positive next step by DMA to support its commitment to consumer choice and ensure privacy on behalf of consumers." The service will allow consumers to choose individual brands and catalogs they no longer want to receive through the website, an extension of the service already available to consumers via mail. "I congratulate DMA for taking an important step in protecting and showing respect for consumer choice," said Steve Cole, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. "Elimination of the 'all or nothing' opt-out procedure demonstrates DMA's readiness to take action on issues that matter to consumers; in this case, the reality that many of us want some catalogs and not others. I also applaud DMA for eliminating fees online for the opt-out service, which will go a long way toward assuring its success." DMA encourages other mail opt-out services to refer consumers to www.dmachoice.org as the place to meet with and express their individual mail preferences to the direct marketer community. DMA believes that with the enhancements made to MPS, it is enabling more relevant and responsible relationships between marketers and consumers. Consumers will continue to be asked for a credit card number to validate their identity and mailing address when registering as a no-charge transaction, but they will not be charged. DMA will not keep personal, identifiable information and will not use the information for marketing purposes. The validation process uses the most rigorous method available today to validate an identity and a mailing address in a secure way for consumer preference services. DMAChoice is part of DMA's broader initiative to meet consumer concerns over volume and choice in the receipt of mail. DMA recently announced its new Commitment to Consumer Choice (http://www.dmaccc.org/Home.aspx), a set of guidelines that apply to all DMA members using mail to communicate with consumers. The DMA Board also adopted the Green 15 (http://www.the-dma.org/Green15Toolkit/), a resolution calling all members to implement 15 business practices to deliver environmental benefits. DMA's Mail Preference Service is the official mail preference suppression service for the catalog marketing community -- and has been for the last 36 years -- and is supported by the United States Postal Service. For more information on DMAChoice, visit www.dmachoice.org. About Direct Marketing Association (DMA) 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 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 nearly 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 2007, marketers -- commercial and nonprofit -- spent $173.2 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated approximately $2.025 trillion in incremental sales. In 2007, direct marketing accounted for 10.2 percent of total US gross domestic product. Also in 2007, there were 1.6 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly supported nearly 9.0 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 10.6 million US jobs. The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.
SOURCE Direct Marketing Association