DMA Helps Caregivers Solve Sweepstakes Problems

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The Direct Marketing Association, in conjunction with its major sweepstakes members, has announced a program to assist caregivers in their attempts to manage the expectations of individual elderly consumers who may not understand how sweepstakes work ("Sweepstakes Marketers Were Ill-Prepared to Take on the Senate," Letters to the Editor, March 22).


The DMA has established a special e-mail address to assist caregivers (sweepstakes@the-dma.org) to help adult children, consumer affairs professionals and others in solving problems individuals may encounter relating to sweepstakes.


As sweepstakes marketers told members of Congress at a March hearing, they will remove names of consumers from their customer and prospect lists when requested so that unwanted promotions are not sent to consumers who are unwilling to receive them, and will assist in resolving individual situations needing attention. The major sweeps companies are employing data mining technology to identify consumers who may be confused by sweepstakes offers.


The DMA has canvassed consumers across the country: Nearly 55 percent of households enter sweepstakes and 95 percent of these fully understand that "no purchase is necessary," nor do they believe they are necessarily a winner when such a mailing arrives. In fact, only one in five entries received by major sweepstakes companies include an order.


Chet Dalzell


Director of issues management and public relations


Direct Marketing Association


New York

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