CHICAGO, Oct. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) announced today its "Commitment to Consumer Choice" (CCC) guidelines that apply to all DMA members using mail to communicate with consumers. The CCC is DMA's public assurance that all Association members will follow specific practices to honor consumer choice in the receipt of solicitations. "The CCC reflects DMA's strong belief that the direct marketing community must meet the evolving need of consumers in today's marketplace," said Steven K. Berry, DMA executive vice president, government affairs and corporate responsibility. "By giving consumers the opportunity for choice -- to address privacy concerns, volume of mail received, and environmental issues -- the consumer is empowered." The Commitment to Consumer Choice, which goes into effect with this announcement, requires that DMA members who use mail to communicate with consumers comply with the following guidelines: -- Effectively Honor Consumer Requests to Modify or Eliminate Mail: The Commitment to Consumer Choice program requires DMA members to provide existing and prospective customers and donors with notice of an opportunity to modify the receipt of future mail solicitations from their organization in every commercial solicitation. The notice may offer various modification options and should contain or refer directly to an option to eliminate future commercial mailings. -- Disclose the Source of the Consumer's Name: Upon request by a consumer, direct marketers will disclose the source from which it obtained personally identifiable data about that consumer. -- Use of the Mail Preference Service (MPS): Consumer marketers will also be required to use DMA's Mail Preference Service (MPS) name- removal file every month (instead of quarterly, the present requirement). To achieve that commitment, a consumer's request for in-house suppression should be honored within 30 days, and for a period of at least three years from the date of receipt of request. DMA will implement a systematic monitoring process for all CCC guidelines and will make every effort to assist members with compliance. The goal of DMA monitoring will be to educate and encourage compliance with the new CCC provisions. "Our ultimate goal is to make mail relevant to consumers - to give consumers more of what they want, and less of what they don't want," said Pat Kachura, DMA senior vice president for corporate responsibility. "The Commitment to Consumer Choice program strengthens DMA's guidelines to address the consumer, environmental, and privacy concerns that our members are hearing from customers." All current and future DMA members will be required to demonstrate CCC understanding and compliance by completing an orientation and training program on the new guidelines and policies. The CCC requirements are effective immediately, and notice enforcement will begin one year from today. The Commitment to Consumer Choice's foundation is DMA's public assurance that all Association members will follow specific practices to protect consumers' choices. Suppliers and other businesses that provide services to consumer marketers should also understand the new CCC requirements so that they can implement them on behalf of their DMA member clients. For more information on the Commitment to Consumer Choice, visit www.DMACCC.org. About The 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 -- are forecast to spend $173.2 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures will generate approximately $2.025 trillion in incremental sales. In 2007, direct marketing will account for 10.2 percent of total US gross domestic product. Also, there are today 1.6 million direct marketing employees in the US alone. Their collective sales efforts directly support nearly 9.0 million other jobs. That accounts for 10.6 million US jobs.
SOURCE Direct Marketing Association