Philadelphia--In a move to quell anthrax fears hampering the direct marketing industry, Devon Direct Euro RSCG plans to launch a site that will allow b-to-b direct mail recipients to verify that the letters they receive are part of legitimate advertising campaigns.WhatsMailing.org will let direct mail recipients or their mailrooms search by advertiser brand name to verify the legitimacy of a campaign. It will be open to receive listings from members of the Direct Marketing Association and the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Listings in the site's database will include the brand name of the mailer, which will be the only searchable field, as well as descriptions of the package, distribution parameters, and postal information. "This country has to be open for business," said Ron Greene, Devon Direct's president-CEO. "We cannot surrender to terror, and we cannot allow terror to force hundreds of thousands into the unemployment lines, nor to cut off the revenues of the thousands of American companies who rely on their ability to market their goods and services, and communicate with their customers, through direct mail."Direct mail is an industry of central importance to the U.S. economy. There were $583 billion in direct mail-related sales in 2000; 38% of that total was b-to-b.
--Philip B. Clark