*Wientzen: Countries Iron out Online Initiatives

STRASBOURG, France–Two hot buttons in online marketing were discussed by representatives of the various direct marketing associations attending the Federation of European Direct Marketing Forum here yesterday.

Details of one — marketing to children online — were fleshed out by the 14 members attending the 10th annual forum, H. Robert Wientzen, president/CEO of the Direct Marketing Association, said in an interview with DM News.

“What we discussed was agreed to by the 14 here,” said Wientzen, who would not give specifics. “We have to get the information out to the other countries, but they'll eventually agree to it.”

Everything for the initiatives should be set to go by the annual fall DMA conference in Toronto, he said. The other area is global marketing online. In it are four elements:

* Developing standards for all online marketing.

* Getting an e-mail preference service used by all countries.

* Promising to handle consumer complaints globally.

* Establishing either one universal online seal or several that state all the elements are in use.

The current online seals — BBBOnline and TrustE among them — don't do what the global DMAs are looking for.

“It will have to be a new one or they'll have to add more to theirs. Right now, they don't cover all the elements,” Wientzen said. “There are still several details that have to be worked out on this initiative, especially how consumers will be protected.”

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