DMA refers to the Federal Trade Commission

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The Direct Marketing Association's Committee on Ethical Business Practice, acting on a consumer complaint, has referred one company,, to federal and state law enforcement agencies for possible action against the company.

The consumer complaint against Austin, TX-based  alleges that the company offered a free $50 gift certificate to consumers who referred friends to its Web-based program. is not a DMA member.

The Committee believed that the company's initial e-mail did not adequately disclose the marketer's identity. It also requested additional information concerning any qualifications or conditions accompanying the "free" gift card, as conditions were not referenced in the initial e-mail.

The DMA said the company did not respond to the Committee's questions or concerns, and the matter was referred to the Federal Trade Commission for its review.

The Committee on Ethical Business Practice, comprised of 17 executives from DMA member companies, investigates and examines mailings and offerings made throughout the direct marketing field based on complaints and inquiries received. The Committee examines promotions and practices that may violate DMA's self-regulatory Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice.

The DMA's Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice are available online at

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