Firms Create Internet Direct Marketing Bureau

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NEW YORK--A group of companies last week officially formed the Internet Direct Marketing Bureau to establish guidelines and standards in the online world.


The group, which debuted at the Fall Internet World '98 conference here, will "ensure maximum effectiveness and acceptance of direct marketing on the Internet," said Paul Grand, CEO of Word of Net Promotions, Los Angeles, and chairman of the IDMB's steering committee. Its agenda includes establishing "best practices, guidelines and standards" for marketers online, promoting direct marketing-focused research and overcoming negative publicity concerning direct marketing on the Internet.


The need for the IDMB arose because existing trade organizations either fail to address Internet direct marketing issues or are too broad, Grand said.


"We focus exclusively on Internet direct marketing and we plan to move very quickly," he said. "We thought the only way to do that was as an independent association."


The organization plans to address issues such as e-mail marketing, search engine optimization, affiliate programs, collaborative filtering, affinity linking, ROI measurement and sweepstakes. So far, it hasn't set any standards that would preclude any company from participating but is reviewing those of other similar organizations -- like the Direct Marketing Association and the Internet Advertising Bureau -- to decide what it will adopt.


"We're not barring anybody from participating," Grand said.


The IDMB's first official meeting will be at the E-Biz conference in Scottsdale, AZ on Nov. 11. Membership dues will be based on company revenue. More information is available at the group's Web site at www.idmb.org.
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