IFDMA to Incorporate in New York, Launch Web Site

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TORONTO - Direct marketing associations from 28 countries will incorporate the 3-year-old International Federation of Direct Marketing Association as a non-profit company, probably in New York, and launch a Web site based in London.

IFDMA was founded at the DMA annual conference in New Orleans in 1996 as a loose organization of worldwide DM associations designed to keep each other informed and to raise the industry's visibility.

The organization has 40 members with 28 sending delegations to this year's DMA conference here. Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan were present from Asia; Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico from Latin America; and most European DMAs attended.

The meeting was chaired by John Gustavson, CEO of the Canadian Marketing Association, as representative of the host country, Canada, for this year's conference.

No agreement was reached on setting up a secretariat or office for IFDMA in New York, something the US DMA has championed in years past. "There is just so much you can do with a federation of associations without having things get out of hand," Alistair Tempest said.

Tempest is director general of the Federation of European Direct Marketing (FEDMA), the industry's chief lobby with the European Commission in Brussels. FEDMA is a member of IFDMA.

In other action, the group agreed on a children's code for online cross-border marketing that includes a complaints resolution system.

"Consumers in one country can go to their DMA and say, 'I got a mailing from another country I don't like,' and then contact is made between the two DMAs in order to resolve the difficulty," Tempest said.

This week's action is important for FEDMA, which is currently negotiating with Europe's data registrars and commissioners to develop a new code for DMers governing transactions between Europe and overseas nations.

Colin Lloyd, head of the British DMA, will develop the IFDMA Web site and run it out of his London office. It will have links to the various DMAs. No decision was reached on whether to give "keys" to all members.

Tempest explained that such keys could throw open DMA libraries to all members, when for many DMA's these are pay-for-use resources that generate important cash reserves.

Lloyd said the Web site would be a link among DMAs and allow speedier exchange of information as well as keeping the DMAs abreast of developments within IFDMA.

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