|DMA Launches E-Mail Preference Service To Help
Consumers Reduce Unsolicited Commercial e-Mail
Direct Marketing Associations In Eight Other Countries Commit To Using
Consumers and businesses wishing to
reduce the amount of unsolicited commercial e-mail received can sign up with the Direct
Marketing Association's (The DMA) e-Mail Preference Service (e-MPS). A special Web site,
www.e-mps.org, has been created where consumers and businesses can register their e-mail
addresses. Direct marketing associations in eight other countries also have agreed to use
As part of the "Privacy Promise to American Consumers,"
which went into effect on July 1, 1999, all DMA members that use unsolicited commercial
e-mail will be required to use e-MPS. However, all marketers, not just DMA members, are
encouraged to use the service before prospecting online for consumers. The service will
delete the Internet addresses of those individuals who do not want to receive such
solicitations, however, marketers do not have to remove the e-mail addresses of their own
customers or of those individuals who have contacted them requesting information.
"e-MPS will not totally eliminate all unsolicited commercial
e-mail, but can become an important part of the overall solution," said H. Robert
Wientzen, president and CEO, The DMA. "The Internet will be an increasingly important
means of conducting business, and e-MPS will help ensure that commercial e-mail remains a
viable communications tool in the marketing process." Wientzen also noted that
targeted, rather than bulk, unsolicited commercial e-mail can evolve as a responsible
marketing medium, if it is relevant and from trusted organizations. There is no charge to
consumers or businesses to register an address on e-MPS.
Direct marketing associations in eight other countries, Australia,
Belgium, Canada, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, The Netherlands, and New Zealand also
have already agreed to participate in the program, and other countries are expected to
join in its use. In addition to English, it is planned for e-MPS to be available in
several languages, including Dutch, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and French.
"The Internet knows no national boundaries, which is why it makes sense for
organizations in other countries to participate in this program and promote it to their
constituencies," Wientzen said.
The DMA designed the service to meet the needs of the International
Federation of Direct Marketing Associations (IFDMA) for a global e-mail opt out service
without country borders. The organization's primary goal is to urge the adoption of
meaningful self-regulatory industry practices globally.
The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) is the largest trade
association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly
4,600 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its
members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the non-profit and
electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service
providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music
clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments
including the service industries that support them. The DMA acquired the Internet Alliance
in 1999 and the Association for Interactive Media in 1998, thus creating the largest trade
association for businesses on the Internet.