DMA Petitions Lawmakers to Keep FTC Expansion Out of Financial Reform Bill
June 11, 2010

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today was joined by 47 other trade associations and business coalitions in sending a letter to each of the conferees on H.R. 4173, the “Restoring American Financial Stability Act” (RAFSA), urging them to keep language that would dramatically expand the powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) out of the final bill.

Michigan Retailers Rally Against Plan to Cut Tax Break
June 2, 2010

A proposal to help balance Michigan's budget has gained enough momentum that it's stirring a tax fight between the state's retailers and some lawmakers. Retailers, already hard hit by the recession, are fighting a bill to reduce the amount of money they receive as an incentive to quickly send sales tax payments to Lansing. The proposal, which would cost the state's retailers an estimated $5.8 million annually, would cause them to raise prices, lay off workers or close stores to offset the impact, said James Hallan, president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association.

DMA Relieved Senate Financial Reform Bill Didn't Include Expansion of FTC Powers
May 25, 2010

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is pleased to announce that although the Senate has passed a far-reaching bill that would affect “virtually every aspect of the financial industry” according to The New York Times, the bill does not include the expansion of the Federal Trade Commission’s rulemaking power.

Legal Matters - Beware, That Patent May Bite You
April 1, 2010

A recent decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, in the case of Forest Group Inc. v. Bon Tool Co., is a warning to marketers regarding patent references in label-
ing goods. Moreover, it's inspired a new wave of litigation over "false marking" — i.e., labeling products as patented that aren't, in fact, covered by…

Double Jeopardy Over State Do-Not-Mail Bills
May 1, 2009

Last year, 12 states had do-not-mail legislation under consideration. But none of the bills were enacted. This year, however, bills already have been refiled in some states, and new bills have been introduced in Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey. With varying enforcement mechanisms, the laws would prohibit mailing unsolicited direct marketing materials to persons who enter their names and addresses to state-maintained registries.

Keep It in Your Domain
February 1, 2009

In the first century B.C., the Roman author Publilius Syrus wrote: “A good reputation is more valuable than money.” More than two millennia later, it remains true that a merchant’s brand, which carries its reputation, is its most valuable asset. Consequently, the piratical misuse of brand names on the Internet is a persistent problem that plagues many online retailers.

Editor’s Take: Watch Your Back This Season
November 1, 2008

Very little PR I get in my inbox grabs my eye, but this one warrants a little attention. A few weeks ago, I was nudged by a Dublin, Ireland-based data management firm called Ethoca, which has developed something across the pond called the Collaborative Fraud Management platform and hosts The Global Fraud Fighting Community. This is a group of European merchants who pool their transaction information to determine and share with other group members those potential transactions that are legit or fraudulent. Now Ethoca has brought its efforts to the U.S., and one of the first merchants it signed up was multichannel computer equipment

Search Marketing and its Legal Risks
October 14, 2008

Search engine marketers today must be mindful of the legal issues surrounding the medium — click fraud, copyright infringements, consumer privacy regulations, to name just a few. While an effective and efficient means for acquiring customers, the vehicle has its perils. In a session at last week’s Search Marketing Expo East conference in New York City, a panel of legal authorities led a session aimed at educating search marketers on the latest legal developments in their industry. When it comes to search today, behavioral targeting and privacy issues dominate the legal landscape. “There’s a general squeamishness about behavioral targeting,” said Mark Rosenberg, counsel at

Warnings and Tips
August 1, 2008

New York law defines the term “resident” very broadly when it comes to affiliates. A “resident” includes not only companies incorporated in New York, but also any company “maintaining a place of business in the state” or “doing business in the state.” The new legislation also provides that contracting with an affiliate network provider for a link on a New York Web site will be treated the same as a direct agreement with the New York Web site owner. Remember, the burden of proof will be on the direct marketer to rebut the “presumption” created by the new law. The retailer must show there’s

State and Local Tax Compliance: 5 Tips to Minimize Exposure and Maximize Revenue
May 20, 2008

With catalogers today marketing their goods through a variety of channels, marketers should carefully evaluate each channel using an internal auditor or an outside tax expert to determine the necessary steps to effectively and fairly calculate and remit sales taxes. Start by asking a few key questions about yourself and your organization: * Are you confident your organization is on top of state and local tax requirements? * Are you concerned about the tax administration and management practices of a company you recently acquired or with which you’ve merged? State and local tax legislatures change frequently. The revenues from tax