Our condolences to the Ostroy family

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Let's start with the saddest news: List marketing expert Andy Ostroy of Belardi/Ostroy ALC lost his young wife, Adrienne Levine.

The authorities are investigating the cause of death, but it is a tragedy nonetheless. Ms. Levine was found dead Nov. 1 in her Greenwich Village office. Mr. Ostroy and Ms. Levine had a young daughter, Sophie, who will surely miss her mother as much as a husband mourns his companion.

A native New Yorker, Ms. Levine went by the name Adrienne Shelly in her acting career. She appeared last year as Jerry in "Factotum," a movie with Matt Dillon, and had parts in Hal Hartley's "Trust" and "The Unbelievable Truth." She also directed the movie "Waitress." Ms. Levine was 40.

"We're very sad and our hearts go out to Andy, Sophie and their family," said Donna Belardi, president of Belardi/Ostroy ALC, New York, and Mr. Ostroy's partner in the business.

Our publication offers its condolences to the Ostroy family for this loss. Mr. Ostroy has worked diligently to support and promote the list and database business and direct marketing overall. It's time for the industry to return that support. Details of the memorial service were unavailable at deadline time. Do check http://www.dmnews.com/ for more details in the days ahead.

Records freeze gives marketers cold shoulder

New York residents won the right to block their credit report under state legislation in effect since Nov. 2. The New York State Security Freeze Law allows any state consumer to write the three major credit agencies -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- and have their credit records hidden from third-party inquiries.

According to the law, the credit bureaus must freeze the requested records within five days of receiving the certified or overnight letter. They will then issue a personal identification number within the next 10 days. With that PIN, consumers can call and make their credit reports available for a set timeframe or for a particular creditor. Consumers pay $5 per agency each time they open a credit window.

This law is designed to prevent identity thieves from using a consumer's credit record to open phantom accounts and transact illegally. It's a noble thought to protect the consumers' interests. But it will affect marketers in fields like financial services, credit cards, Internet services, real estate, insurance, wireless services or even firms doing credit checks.

New York is the 25th state to let residents freeze their credit records.

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