DMA plans privacy ads

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The Direct Marketing Association will launch an estimated $80 million consumer education campaign early next year to address public concerns about privacy and security. The effort, through Y&R Advertising, New York, is being developed in conjunction with the Privacy Leadership Initiative, a coalition of 10 associations and 19 marketers, including Procter & Gamble Co. and IBM Corp., formed earlier this year to act as a steering committee for the consumer awareness push, which will include TV, print, online, direct and public relations. The DMA will approach 90 companies to fund the effort, DMA President-CEO H. Robert Wientzen told Advertising Age. "We think this is a cheap price to pay for the continued growth of the Internet and e-commerce," he said. Y&R was chosen after an agency review in which Bcom3 Group was the other finalist. The campaign, still in development, will focus on the benefits of sharing information online and the control consumers have over this information. "People are very concerned, but they're not exactly sure why they're concerned or what they're concerned about," Mr. Wientzen said. "We think there's an anxiety about the unknown as opposed to a fear of the known." The campaign will be a "watershed event" for marketers as well as consumers, he said. "From a marketing standpoint, we need to get on with it; we need to get past this issue." The DMA is meeting in New Orleans at its annual conference.

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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