DMA Rallies Troops to Fend off Do-Not-Mail Legislative Threats
Challenged By Catalog Choice Member
When Greco and Berry opened the floor for questions from both the in-person and teleconference audience, they got more than they bargained for. Laura Hickey, a longtime DMA member with the National Wildlife Federation, took DMA to task about the Catalog Choice initiative she’s been closely involved with since its launch earlier this year.
Catalog Choice, which has no backing or cooperation from DMA, got more than 300,000 consumers to sign up to opt out of catalog mailing lists in its first two months, Hickey said. The reason for her call was to ask why DMA “never once” showed any interest in partnering with the nonprofit group. The group bills itself as one that allows consumers to “eliminate unwanted catalogs you receive, simplify your life and save natural resources.”
While Berry said that Catalog Choice is good for consumers to give them more nonlegislative opt-outs, he said, “I believe we have a better possibility of confirming and authenticating individuals than outside groups do.” Greco added that DMA “can suppress. I’d suggest to any third party to defer that consumer to our MPS service. That’s the way to accomplish the objective, to give consumers choice and control.”
Among other member comments and questions was one from James West of Williams-Sonoma, who challenged DMA to get the U.S. Postal Service to better promote MPS and other DMA catalog member opt-out self-regulations. “We’ve had a number of discussions with them,” Greco said about USPS involvement. “If you go to the USPS Web site today and look up mailing lists and preference services, you’ll find MPS. This will evolve as we look at the messaging we want to do. There will be opportunities to collaborate and leverage our resources.”
As for other means of promoting consumer choices, Greco said, “We have a number of touchpoints with consumers that many other industries don’t have. We’re fortunate in that we can spread information more virally through various networks, through people engaged in various media. But we don’t have all the answers yet,” he said, regarding a full-fledge consumer communications plan.