DMA Names Prescott to Head International

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Tapped to elevate its global stature, the Direct Marketing Association last week named Charles Prescott as vice president of international business development and government.

In the new position, Prescott will be responsible to grow the DMA's international membership, to develop global business opportunities for existing domestic and international members and to help foster education about global policy and issues. The DMA has 700 international companies in its membership and is looking to increase it to 1,000.

"He is someone who has knowledge about policy challenges and policy questions for both members who are doing business overseas and international members," said H. Robert Wientzen, president and CEO of the DMA. "He'll be working on policy questions such as imports and privacy in order to help our member deal with the challenges they face in those areas."

Prescott, who was traveling and unavailable for comment, formerly served as vice president, legal, Pacific group and associate general counsel at The Reader's Digest

Association. Additionally, he was instrumental in forming direct marketing associations in Taiwan, Malaysia, Hungary the Czech Republic and Poland.

Although Prescott won't serve as an actual lobbyist, Wientzen said he anticipates Prescott will take part in government proceedings.

"In one sense he will be a lobbyist in areas where there are laws being considered," he said. "That is a major problem for our members, and we see him getting involved to mitigate some of those instances."

Specifically, Wientzen mentioned the European Union's Privacy Directive and the establishment of 10 countries as formal test markets for direct marketers as some of the immediate issues that Prescott will address.

The DMA board approved the position as part of an overall global strategy and began looking at the position six months ago.

"When we developed our new strategic plan, one of the elements was to enhance global leadership and to provide more global services," Wientzen said.

Prescott's role becomes effective this week and he will be based in New York. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1969 with a degree in philosophy and received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard University Law School in 1974. He is a member of the State Bar of California, the New York State Bar Association, the American Bar Association's International Law Section and the International Bar Association's Section on Business Law.

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