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At DMA 2012: New initiative promotes, defends data collection

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Las Vegas—The Direct Marketing Association has introduced the Data-Driven Marketing Institute, an initiative designed “to set the record straight” about marketers' collection and use of data. The announcement was made today at the DMA's annual conference and expo here. The initiative will focus on advancing the marketing industry's efforts to limit government regulation of online data collection and behaviorally targeted advertising as well as support its own efforts at self-regulation. Other elements include an information campaign to educate consumers about online data collection from the industry's point of view and developing research on the value of data to marketers and customers. “The DDMI's sole purpose is to set the record straight about the countless ways data-driven marketing benefits consumers and is the engine of economic growth,” said Linda Woolley, acting president of the DMA, in announcing the initiative during DMA 2012's opening keynote. Woolley cited dozens of pieces of pending legislation in both houses of Congress that she said would restrict or ban the collection and use of data for marketing purposes. She said congressional sessions on data collection, spurred by the testimony of privacy groups, are characterized by “scare tactics.” “DMA cannot allow these mischaracterizations of what we do stand,” Woolley said. “It's time for us to be forceful and take action. The data-driven industry must demonstrate our value to consumers, the economy and the world.” Before being named DMA''s acting president in May, Woolley was the organization's exec VP-Washington operations, overseeing its advocacy and lobbying efforts.
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