DMA issues guidelines for using lists

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The Direct Marketing Association reminded its members to follow its guidance regarding the use of marketing data, highlighting that this is even more important when dealing with vulnerable groups or sensitive information.

The Federal Trade Commission thinks list providers are partially responsible for how their data will be used. The FTC said list providers who know or "consciously avoid knowing" that the lists they provide will be used to perpetuate fraud, could share some responsibility for any fraud that results from the use of their data.

This announcement comes after The New York Times accused database giant infoUSA Inc. of "bilking the elderly" in a series of articles the past few days.

Although infoUSA maintained that it did nothing wrong, the DMA said that the actions of a company one teams up with reflect on not one but both companies.

List vendors will be held responsible for the following.

-Consciously avoiding knowledge about a legal violation.

-Knowingly collaborating in an illegal offer.

-Misrepresentations or violations that are easily recognized in a sample script or promotion.

-Not acting on information they become aware of about a particular offer or marketer.

The DMA recommends that anyone who sells or rents marketing lists do the following.

-Ask for and obtain a copy of the script, e-mail or print promotion and keep it on file.

-Monitor or decoy list usage to make sure that the list is used only for its appropriate purpose.

-Have a written agreement outlining the purpose and scope of the list's use.

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