DMA's Greco addresses public policy concerns

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Public policy can and does impact companies' bottom lines and the direct marketing community's future, Direct Marketing Association President-CEO John Greco said in a speech March 22 at the DMA's Direct Marketing to Business Conference in Orlando, Fla.

The DMA is currently monitoring a number of public policy issues that could affect the direct marketing industry. Among those is an expected postal rate increase that could come as early as the start of next year, Greco said.

At the annual Postal Forum held the same week as the DMA show, Postmaster General Jack Potter predicted the increase would likely be 5% to 6%.

"Our reading of the tea leaves has been accurate so far," Greco said, vowing the DMA would "continue to push for [rate] reductions."

Greco addressed telemarketing do-not-call issues that could affect b-to-b marketers. "The popularity of the do-not-call registry has unfortunately only continued to fuel the states' aggressive push of legislation that would cover b-to-b solicitations as well," he said.

Privacy of data key

Greco also discussed the issue of privacy in the context of recent data security breaches, such as those involving ChoicePoint, Westlaw, LexisNexis, Bank of America, DSW Shoe Warehouse and Kaiser Permanente. He reminded the audience that privacy bills have already been introduced in Congress.

"We'll continue to work with policymakers to guard against uninformed and imbalanced decision-making, and we'll continue to demonstrate to policymakers, the media, consumers and businesses that our industry is self-regulating effectively," he said.

Also last month, the DMA announced it was creating a new committee to focus on corporate social responsibility issues.

The Committee on Social Responsibility will report directly to the DMA's board of directors. It will encourage the establishment of policies on "environmentally responsible marketing."

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