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DMA Letter Will Urge Schumer to Can Do-Not-E-Mail Plan

The Direct Marketing Association is expected today to send a letter to Sen. Charles Schumer carrying as many DMers’ signatures as possible urging the New York Democrat to drop his proposal to create a national do-not-e-mail list.

Under Schumer’s plan, the Federal Trade Commission would create and maintain a do-not-e-mail list similar to its do-not-call telemarketing list, which has received more than 26 million registrants and takes effect in October.

“The DMA intends to continue its effort to convince the Senator that a number of New York companies are concerned about this issue and, while supporting legislation, do not believe that a no-e-mail registry is the way to go,” said an announcement yesterday in the association’s daily news roundup e-mail newsletter, “3D, The DMA Daily Digest.” “If your company or organization has operations in New York, The DMA urges you to sign a joint letter that the Association will send to the Senator tomorrow, July 22.”

The DMA also said that the issue could be debated on the Senate floor this week if the group fails to persuade Schumer to drop his do-not-e-mail proposal.

Schumer’s bill is one of eight pending in the House and Senate, none of which require marketers to get permission before sending unsolicited commercial e-mail. Some consumer groups and anti-spam activists favor his bill, however, because it lets consumers pre-emptively opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial e-mail.

The DMA maintains that a no-e-mail list would be a nightmare for marketers to comply with because many people have far more e-mail addresses than they do telephone numbers.

The DMA also contends that those most responsible for the spam estimated to make up 40 percent to 50 percent of consumers’ incoming e-mail — senders of fraudulent spam and offshore e-mailers, for example — would not comply with such a list. As a result, according to the trade group, a list would be ineffective and its members’ reputations would be damaged.

The DMA urged direct marketers interested in signing the letter to contact DMA president/CEO H. Robert Wientzen’s office at [email protected] or 212/768-7277, ext. 1604.

“If you are a non-New York member but would like to inform Sen. Schumer of his proposal’s impact on your operations and employees, please send that information — with a CC to the above e-mailbox — to Sen. Schumer via his Web site at www.senate.gov/~schumer/webform.html,” the announcement said.

The DMA did not respond to a request from DM News for a copy of the letter.

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