WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- As the Federal Trade Commission
announced today in its report to Congress on the effectiveness of the CAN-SPAM
Act, much has been done to mandate best practices for legitimate e-mail and
provide tools that help law enforcement authorities stem the tide of illegal,
damaging and nuisance e-mails. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is
encouraged by the FTC report and congratulates legitimate senders of email,
law enforcement agencies, ISPs on their successful efforts, and looks forward
to continuing to work with the FTC to make the electronic marketplace safe and
successful for consumers and businesses.
As the report noted, filtering and other technologies are helping
consumers see some declines in spam levels. Legitimate organizations are
overwhelmingly complying with CAN-SPAM requirements and have taken significant
steps to ensure that legitimate marketing messages include honest subject
lines, accurate header information, a physical location address, and a
prominent and easy-to-use opt-out function.
"While legitimate marketers are taking many steps to combat spam, the vast
majority of what remains that reaches consumers inboxes -- is coming from
people who have no intention of following the law," said Jerry Cerasale, DMA's
senior vice president for government affairs. "CAN-SPAM is a necessary part
of the cooperative effort that government, businesses and consumers must
undertake to combat spam. The law provides the enforcement muscle that
complements what e-mail providers, legitimate marketers and ISPs are doing to
keep ahead of constantly-evolving technologies."
Over the past year, DMA has been active in supporting the "Safe Web Act"
and in calling for stronger penalties for online criminals and greater
resources for law enforcement to help identify and prosecute them. DMA would
particularly like to see the FTC receive greater authority to help combat
cross-border fraud and is encouraged by the progress of such legislation. Lou
Mastria, DMA's vice president for interactive & emerging media, added that
most of the spam that consumers continue to see in their inboxes is being sent
from hijacked addresses and through "zombie" servers -- unsecured individual
addresses and commercial servers that have been taken over by spammers. "The
single most important thing individuals and companies can do is to make sure
their servers are secure," he noted. "When spammers aren't able to conceal
their identities, law enforcement will be better able to find and prosecute
To help consumers differentiate between fraudulent messages and legitimate
commercial e-mail, many organizations are also taking additional steps to help
consumers identify trustworthy e-mail. In October, the DMA announced that
members will be required to adopt e-mail authentication systems that help
verify the authenticity of legitimate commercial e-mail messages.
The DMA estimates that legitimate commercial e-mail resulted in
approximately $39 billion in sales in 2004, including about $9 billion in
small business sales. "We believe that e-mail can deliver great value for
consumers and more dollars for the U.S. and global economies if spam and fraud
can be reduced or eliminated," said Mastria.
About the DMA
The Direct Marketing Association (http://www.the-dma.org) is the leading
global trade association of business and nonprofit organizations using and
supporting direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates industry
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
entire direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today has more than
4,800 corporate, affiliate, and chapter members from the US and 46 other
nations, including 55 companies listed on the Fortune 100.
In 2005, companies will spend more than $161 billion on direct marketing
in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising
expenditures are expected to generate $1.85 trillion in increased sales in
2005, or 7% of the $26 trillion in total sales in the US economy (which
includes intermediate sales). All together, direct marketing will account for
10.3% of total US GDP in 2005.
SOURCE Direct Marketing Association