Global Group Agrees to Launch E-Mail Control Service

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The International Federation of Direct Marketing Associations agreed here today to support launch of an e-mail preference service.

The group, formed at the annual DMA meeting in New Orleans in 1996, also agreed to a series of other initiatives on e-commerce, marketing to children and moves to blunt the impact of the EU data protection directive.

The 29 nation group -- four joined the organization today, Switzerland, Peru, Colombia and Chile -- pledged to support an EMPS without borders that would allow recipients of unwanted e-mails to opt out.

The service is under development but the group did not announce when it expected EMPS implementation.

"E-commerce is by its own nature global, so practices that advance self-regulation of electronic commerce must also be global," Pat Faley, VP for consumer affairs at the DMA said.

Fifteen associations who attended the Ninth Annual Global Symposium on Direct Marketing and Self-Regulation during the DMA's annual conference held here also approved a new global convention of telephone preference services.

A committee of seven countries and the Federation of European Direct Marketing were named to study the marketing to children's issue.

On the EU directive, which goes into effect on Oct. 24, IFDMA agreed to support the use of model contracts developed by the International Chamber of Commerce as one way to meet the "appropriate" protection measure the EU demands of countries receiving EU-generated data.

But IFDMA could not agree on formation of a secretariat for the organization. The US DMA had offered facilities for the secretariat at its New York office and agreed to pay $50,000 of the estimated $100,000 cost.

The other members felt they were not authorized to agree to an expenditure of funds and some, informed sources said, pointed to the current global economic problems as one reason for not contributing now.

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