NEW YORK, January 20, 2004 - The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today released a new quick-glance reference guide that empowers marketers and consumers alike to make easy sense of the first national anti-spam law in the United States, the CAN SPAM Act of 2003, which took effect January 1, 2004.
"The CAN SPAM Act is an important victory for American e-mail users," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "But having a law in and of itself is not a cure-all. We need to build awareness about the new law among marketers and consumers, and help the authorities build cases against the spam kingpins who are ruining e-mail for the rest of us."
The quick-glance reference guide, entitled "The CAN SPAM Act of 2003: What to Look For, What to Look OUT For," graphically illustrates commercial e-mail that is in compliance with federal law in contrast with illegal spam, and provides contact information for governmental authorities charged with enforcement of the new national anti-spam law. The guide can be viewed on The DMA`s Web site at http://www.the-dma.org/antispam/E-mail_Chart.pdf.
The DMA is encouraging usage and promotion of the reference guide by its own members and other legitimate marketers, Internet and e-mail service providers, government agencies, consumer advocacy groups, consumers, and the press - in effect, spearheading a marketing campaign against spam.
"The graphical representation of the CAN SPAM Act will help both marketers and consumers to discern the visible traits of spam that do not follow the new law," said Patricia Faley Kachura, vice president, ethics & consumer affairs, The DMA. "Marketers may want to post it near their computer as a reminder to verify that their e-mails are in compliance, and consumers can use it to easily recognize illicit spam and forward it to the authorities."
"The DMA`s CAN SPAM quick-glance guide should become a high-profile player in the anti-spam lexicon," said Kachura. "This is something that organizations can link to from their privacy policies, Web sites, and from commercial e-mails themselves. We encourage marketers and consumers to derive as much value from it as possible."
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned economic-impact study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States are projected to have surpassed $1.7 trillion in 2003, including $133 billion in catalog sales and $41 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA`s Web site is www.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.