*Sweepstakes Dominate DMA Ethics Complaints

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The Direct Marketing Association's Ethical Business Practice Committee addressed 40 complaints regarding direct marketing in the second quarter, the DMA said yesterday. Nineteen of the cases concerned sweepstakes and prize promotions. At issue was the overall impression that recipients had won major prizes. The committee expressed concern over what appeared to be inconsistent disclosures and qualifying statements. There also was concern that recipients were given the impression that making a purchase increased the chances of winning. The committee contacted all of the companies, and most agreed to make changes. In the 14 cases involving collection and maintenance of marketing data, eight cases addressed noncompliance with the DMA's Privacy Promise, the first since it went into effect in July. One other case involved list usage. The committee has recommended to the DMA board of directors that the eight violators be sent certified letters stating that they will expelled from the DMA if they don't comply. The final seven cases involved general advertising and business practice issues.
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