Direct Marketing Association Launches New 'Commitment to Consumer Choice' Guidelines to Empower Consumers and Build Consumer Trust

Commitment to Consumer Choice Will Require Marketers to Give Consumers an

Opportunity to Modify Receipt of Solicitations in Every Commercial and

Nonprofit Solicitation

Oct 15, 2007, 01:00 ET from Direct Marketing Association

    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
     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
     For more information on the Commitment to Consumer Choice, visit
     About The Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
     The Direct Marketing Association ( 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