Spotlight Conversation: DM takes the stage in Vegas

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John Greco
John Greco

DMA head Greco discusses DMA08, legislation and more

Q: What are some of your expectations for next week's DMA show in Las Vegas?

A: This year's show has a theme of “RU Connected?” reflecting our mission to bring everyone in the industry together, along with integrated marketing, and traditional tactics blending with the newest methods. We're expecting a great turnout. About 20% of the audience will be from other countries, and we're expecting 550 companies to exhibit.

Q: What's going to be the DMA's approach to lobbying for next year?

A: Regardless of the outcome in November, there will soon be a new administration and some turnover in Congress, staff and appointed officials. We have a responsibility to make sure that we are informing and educating both those people who remain in their positions and those who are new to the process. Good lobbying and advocacy begins and ends with education – get­ting the right facts in front of legislators.

Q: What is on the DMA's radar regard­ing privacy and do-not-mail issues?

A: Do-not-mail is predominantly a state issue. Right now, states are calling for do-not-mail registries that are similar to the national do-not-call registries. It's a terrible idea, harmful to our mar­ketplace and to the US economy. It's really important we remind everyone that direct mail represents $686 billion dollars in US sales, and supports more than 300,000 jobs in US small busi­ness. Privacy issues, such as data usage and behavioral targeting legislation, originate more at the federal level. We have to make sure that we strike the right balance. We're always pro-privacy, but we obviously need to have access to the marketing data that allows us to be relevant. Our message to the Hill — “rel­evance, responsibility, results” — really resonates with legislators. They under­stand that if we want to be relevant and not saturate people with offers, then we have to have access to the right data.

Q: What other issues does the DMA keep an eye on for marketers?

A: Tax laws — these crop up all over the place. We watch out for remote sales taxes that would effect mail order and Internet businesses. We have to build on the great foundation that we've laid with legislators, and make sure that we're there with the new folks taking power.

Q: What role should marketers take in the green movement?

A: The DMA has the Green 15 – 15 principles for members including list hygiene, ink quality and paper stock. We help our members communicate with the right facts. For example, managed forest crops are specifically grown for making paper. Plus, 55% of the paper consumed in the US is now recovered for recycling. Those are the facts of the reality around paper. Every marketer really only wants to com­municate with people who want to hear from them. They don't want to be wasteful..

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