Thursday, March 14, 2013

DMA Lobbies to Deflect Attacks on Data Marketing

Legislative and regulatory champions of privacy are redefining "data broker" to include any firm that collects, uses, analyzes, aggregates, shares, or compiles data for third parties -- literally all direct marketers -- warns the Direct Marketing Association (DMA). "The threats to what we do are looming large, both in Washington, across the ocean and in state legislatures," declared Linda Woolley, president and CEO of the DMA, in a recent "AdWeek" report. DMA lobbyists hurried to Washington, D.C., in March to warn House and Senate commerce and judiciary committees about the potential adverse impact on the whole economy of restrictions on marketing data. Rachel Thomas, DMA vice president of government affairs, is quoted as stressing that direct marketers "are responsible for 8.7% of the GDP, $168 billion in spending, $2.05 trillion in sales, 9.2 million jobs." What alternative approach does the DMA offer for guarding consumer privacy? It's talking up the Digital Advertising Alliance's self-regulation program giving consumers the ability to opt-out of online behavioral tracking, along with initiatives to craft mobile guidelines. Meanwhile, it's using its Data Driven Marketing Institute, formed last year, in a campaign to educate and advocate on the benefits of data-driven marketing. It remains to be seen whether self-regulation and education are enough to calm politicians' fears about the new era of Big Data. For the complete story, see

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