Cerasale is DMA’s man on the Hill

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Name: Jerry Cerasale
Title: Senior VP-government affairs
Organization: The Direct Marketing Association, New York
Goal: "To try and have our membership provide good customer service without any government-enforced regulations."
For three years, Jerry Cerasale worked alongside members of Congress as general counsel for the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee. Since 1995, he has lobbied his former colleagues on behalf of the Direct Marketing Association and its 1,400 member companies. Never before has his work on the Hill been so important—at least, for b-to-b marketers.

Congress’ long-standing myopic focus on consumer privacy is expanding to include b-to-b. The DMA and Cerasale, meanwhile, have emerged as leading advocates to ensure that direct marketers self-regulate on privacy issues before lawmakers do so for them. It’s a directive from DMA President-CEO H. Robert Wientzen, who has said privacy legislation—and the effort to stem it—is perhaps the most critical issue facing direct marketers.

Cerasale said that among the privacy topics b-to-b direct marketers should consider is whether to e-mail a new executive at a company after the person being replaced has left. The DMA’s position is that marketers should do so. "We believe that if you’re working with an individual and he leaves, you can try to get another client," he said.

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