Behind NEMOA’s Backing of New Catalog Group
In announcing its formal backing of the recently created American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA) on Dec. 18, NEMOA board members are making a bold statement that the half-year-old organization can best represent their 110-plus catalog members’ interests, particularly in postal matters, going forward. Positioning itself as a catalogers-only group, ACMA is also focused on do-not-mail legislation and privacy.
“ACMA will represent our specific needs relative to postal affairs, do-not-mail, privacy, environmental [policies] and whatever else comes our way over the coming year,” says Jon Fleischmann, president/CEO of the Potpourri Group and a NEMOA board member. Fleischmann believes potential benefits offered by the ACMA include the following:
● an ear and voice relative to mission-critical government and regulatory issues;
● enhanced visibility to the catalog industry; and
● giving members time to concentrate on running their businesses.
As opposed to other groups such as the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), whose membership includes bulk-letter mailers with differing and potentially conflicting needs, ACMA’s strict adherence to catalogers’ needs led the NEMOA board to take a stand. Unlike the DMA and ACMA, which take action in government and postal rate cases, NEMOA functions as a network for catalogers to share ideas and experiences and build relationships. Formerly known as New England Mail Order Association, NEMOA also runs two conferences a year.
Not an Either/Or
But the ACMA shouldn’t be viewed as an alternative or opponent of the DMA, Fleischmann says. It’s another resource to enhance the catalog industry’s representation in areas critical to catalogers’ futures, he points out.
As for the DMA, President/CEO John Greco says catalogers still comprise a significant and vital part of the far bigger and more diverse organization, noting its 350-plus catalog/multichannel members. “DMA will continue to listen and respond to the unique and varied perspectives that come from across our widespread community,” Greco says. “We’ll promote collaboration wherever we have common ground. Overall, we always seek to expand the zone where the interests of direct marketers meet those of their customers, donors and prospects, and overlap with the requirements and expectations of lawmakers and regulators.”
— Joe Keenan/Paul Miller