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Industry Insight

BoSacks Speaks Out: DMA To Fed: Don't Ask Me About My Business

You can draw your own conclusions here about what constitutes "

By Bob Sacks
Published: August 15, 2012

You can draw your own conclusions here about what constitutes "sensible and realistic business practices" or out and about abuse of privileges and responsibilities. I expect to receive some serious heat for my stated position below.

Here is the story, the DMA responded to a letter from the government with the following statement:

"DMA is concerned that your letters (from the government) appear to question legitimate commercial data practices that are essential to America's job creation, economic growth, and global leadership,...

They go on to suggest that:

DMA reiterated its support for industry self-regulation as the most efficient and effective means to address any privacy concerns raised by marketing uses of data.

Is there anyone out there that is not pleased as punch to have the Do Not Call and the Do Not Mail programs in effect? Industry self-regulation is only effective if there is actually industry self-regulation. There is more data being collected now than ever before. The data collection is increasingly more personal with the collectee not knowledgeable of the process or the collection. I deem it a human right, as much as it is possible, to have your personal life actually personal, even in the digital 21st century. And, NO, I do not trust the DMA to be the arbitrator of what is personal and what is not. I do not and will not give the DMA the authority to send information about my unsuspecting children and grandchildren to the marketers of the free world.

Free commerce and capitalism is one thing and intrusion is another. I do recommend stringent rules and third party oversight. If the third party has to be government, I deem that better than an internal DMA committee. The abuse of big data collection is yet in its infancy. I don't dispute that it's happening, but I recommend strongly that there needs to be sensible control for the protection of everyone, even businesses.

 

Discussion

By Chuck Gehman on Aug 16, 2012

I think Do Not Call is a great idea, and should continue to evolve as technology moves forward. Unwanted calling is a real time intrusion, and all calling should be "opt-in", i.e., the default should be "do not call".

However, I am not "pleased as punch" about Do Not Mail-- quite the contrary, I think it is idiotic.

If someone wants to spend the money to print materials and mail them to me, I say "All Power to Them". They are helping the economy on many levels by doing this and it should be encouraged.

I don't see it as an imposition on me to take 2 seconds and throw the materials in the recycling bin if I'm not interested. Probably 9 times out of 10 I will take 1 second and glance at them to see they are interesting, and sometimes they are.

I have received a beautiful albeit unsolicited 600 page catalog from Restoration Hardware that probably cost $10-15 (all in) to put in my hands. I like getting things like that.



 

By Eric Vessels on Aug 16, 2012

Couldn't you make the same arguments relative to the economy about calling operations or is that all offshore now? I find it interesting the different ways we view different unsolicited media, industry bias notwithstanding.

We have found ways to nearly rid ourselves of email spam, absolutely hate unsolicited phone calls, but tolerate relatively well unsolicited mail.

I'm pretty much spam free and try to maintain my subscriptions so that they are meaningful and useful. I've essentially rid myself of unsolicited calls (almost) by getting rid of my land line. I'm sure they'll figure out how to move to cell phones eventually. I'm like you with mail. I just walk from mailbox to garage, deposit any unwanted items in recycling, and sit the good mail on the counter. I'm not too annoyed by this.

I also get that Restoration Hardware catalog, which is pretty awesome!

 

By Stephen Eugene Adams on Aug 16, 2012

Bob, I will try and address the point you are making. I, too am worried about my privacy and how the industry is, or is not, addressing the issue. If we want to self-regulate, then we should set up an entity responsible for making the rules. We cannot let every email marketer, auto response collector decide what is best. I don't want to worry about whether every link I click is going into some database to be used in the future to market to me. Facebook has tried this and keeps getting slapped down.

 

By Gary Larivee on Aug 22, 2012

Personally I find it much more offensive when somebody in a pick up truck is at a stop street 100 yards away and his radio is so loud my windows are rattling than maybe having to throw something in the recycle box that I am not interested in.

 

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