Canadians marketers agree to ban junk e-mail

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TORONTO -- Direct marketers in Canada have introduced new rules to ban junk e-mail and protect consumer privacy on the Internet. New online marketing policies from the Canadian Direct Marketing Association go into effect in January.

Under the new industry guidelines, marketers can't send unsolicited marketing e-mail without consumer consent, except to their current customers. Also, marketers must tell consumers what information is being gathered and how it will be used, a rule that especially addresses click- through data.

With the opportunities of the Internet come new responsibilities "to ensure consumer acceptance of online marketing," says group president John Gustavson.

These "strong and practical standards" are mandatory for the national association's 650 corporate members, which account for 80% of Canada's $8bn direct marketing industry.

"They (the standards) will benefit consumers and help guide the growth of Internet commerce in an effective and responsible way," Gustavson says.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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