David W. Florence, founder and chairman of Direct Media Inc., and founding father Benjamin Franklin are this year's honorees to the Direct Marketing Association's Hall of Fame. They will be formally inducted at this fall's 87th Annual Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans.
The Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors approved the selections yesterday.
Florence began his career at IBM Corp. in 1955 as a data processing sales representative. He also worked for Royal McBee Corp. and National Business Lists Inc. before founding Direct Media in 1969. He is a trustee of the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation and served on the DMA Board of Directors from 1987 to 1993.
The DMA said Franklin, who died in 1790, formulated the basic mail-order concept when he produced the first catalog in 1744, which sold scientific and academic books. “Moreover, the catalog came with the first mail-order guarantee: 'Those persons who live remote, by sending their orders and money to B. Franklin may depend on the same justice as if present.'”
In 1775, Franklin was appointed as the first postmaster general for what became the United States.
The Hall of Fame was established in 1978. There have been 82 inductees.