DMA's Self-Regulation Announcement Probably Just Propaganda

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As part of the ongoing effort to convince legislators that the industry can self-regulate, the Direct Marketing Association recently announced its intent to publish and enforce e-mail guidelines. It's doubtful the announcement is anything more than propaganda.


Case in point: Despite a very contentious, very public 1999 dispute over unwanted solicitation calls, Sears telemarketers called me again a few months ago. The company claims my subsequent purchase of a Craftsman air compressor - the re-establishment of a "business relationship" - was all it needed to restart telemarketing calls.


The cornerstone of the DMA's telemarketing guidelines and "Privacy Promise" is a pledge not to call anyone - including existing customers - who has made it clear they don't want telemarketing calls. When informed of its member's failure to adhere to the guidelines, the DMA did nothing. Fortunately, if the recent wave of state no-call laws is any indication, state-level policymakers are heeding the pleas of consumers and ignoring the industry propaganda.


Diana Mey


Wheeling, WV


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