DMA Urges Caution With Mailing List Transactions

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The Direct Marketing Association has sent an e-mail to its members, asking them to take precautions with all list transactions in the awake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

"Everyone involved in the transfer, rental, sale, exchange and use of mailing lists -- owners, managers, compilers, brokers, consultants and users and their suppliers and agents -- should follow these guidelines, particularly those which are more significant as a result of the current need for greater security, vigilance and integrity," the e-mail said.

"Marketing lists are among the greatest assets of any reputable direct marketer," the e-mail states. "It is an asset we must protect for our benefit and that of our customers."

It also instructed direct marketers to follow the DMA's Guidelines for List Practices, which can be found in their entirety at

The e-mail laid out some things the DMA suggests marketers do regarding list transactions. They included:

-- Know the intended use of the file.

-- Review samples of the mail piece.

-- Use reputable vendors with proper security measures in place to process list orders.

-- Be aware of all parties involved in a list transaction.

-- Use decoys to track list use.

-- Be alert to suspicious list requests.

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