Letter: Industry Couldn't Stop Shelby Amendment

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I am the president of a small direct marketing company in Southern California. Our business is direct mail, and mainly direct mail for the automotive industry. When the Shelby amendment was being discussed in Congress, I immediately knew that the threat it posed to our industry and our national economy was immense. I called all of my list suppliers (big ones like Polk) to try to find out what I could do to help prevent the Shelby bill from becoming law. I volunteered my time and company resources to help defeat the bill's disastrous effects.

I was assured by the big three (Polk, Experian and infoUSA) that "nothing would come of this." I was told that the U.S. Postal Service, all the compilers, states and large companies like GM and Ford were keeping an eye on the legislation and would put pressure on Congress to help defeat the bill. Everyone (this is not an exaggeration) sat back and waited for someone else to take the lead in defeating the bill. We all know what the outcome was. The Shelby amendment passed, and no more DMV data.

Has anyone calculated the economic loss? I am not an accountant, but I would guesstimate that the loss to our economy is in the multibillions of dollars. Every related industry to the automotive industry has suffered as a result of Shelby. There were effective solutions for the privacy concerns of our citizens, but no one attempted to offer them as alternatives. They literally threw the "baby out with the bath water."

I have spent the past two years rebuilding my company as a result of Shelby. We are now servicing other segments of the market in addition to automotive. I for one will not sit idly by while everyone else buries their corporate heads in the sand this time ("DNC Registry Energizes Effort for No-Mail List," July 21). I intend to contact the Direct Marketing Association, all the major compilers, corporations, postal service and anyone else who has a vested interest in a direct mail industry that is critical to our economy's growth. I hope your publication joins me in my efforts to stave off the assault of these well-intentioned but misdirected privacy groups.

I quote from the article, "Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, a House committee is considering a bill that would direct the state's office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations to establish a do-not-send list for the state's residents." You see, the process has already begun.

Frank Furgiuele, President, SOS Direct LLC,


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