DMA: Public policy hits the bottom line

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

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

Greco said he spoke with Postmaster General Jack Potter this week and was told 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 reductions."

Greco also 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.

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.

Greco also noted the DMA has "been very aggressive in reminding marketers that they must tell their customers and prospects, repeatedly, that their choices and preferences do matter and will be respected."

—Carol Krol

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