DMA vs. Tornado: Place Bets Now, Will Give 5:1 Odds

The Alternative Response Media Council, the part of the Direct Marketing Association that concentrates on newspaper inserts, will announce a new name on September 10. "We're still finalizing the name change," said Council co-chair Arlene Rosen to the DM News. Taking a quick poll among my colleagues this morning, I came up with a list of some suggestions.

Five alternatives to the "Alternative Response Media Council":

  • Society for Claiming People Read Anything Slippery Enough to Fall on Their Living Room Floor
  • Alternative Response Media Intergalactic Directorate
  • Consortium for the Destruction of Nasty Trees
  • Society for the Continued Employment of Local Retail Catalog Designers
  • The Part of the DMA Deciding to Stay After Wientzen Canned the Spam Initiative

    Not to pile on the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) troubles, but it does seem as though the group is showing a tin ear to noise coming from the political ground shaking under its feet. This is common among trade groups that feel constantly attacked. The tobacco and the liquor industries will often make strategic miscalculations because, since they're constantly under attack, they feel as though they must fight every battle lest they lose ground. When a true tornado of political revulsion overwhelms them, instead of bending to the wind, they allow themselves to get carried away, making the situation worse.



    This is the situation the DMA finds itself in with the spam question. Rather than peeve powerful members of its main direct mail-centric organization, the DMA squelched it's Association for Interactive Marketing (AIM) effort to publish reasonable direct email marketing guidelines. Rather than have its members avoid the label "spammer," the DMA decided to instead deny that there is such a thing as spam. In public pronouncements, DMA CEO H. Robert Wientzen indicated that there is merely non-fraudulent email and fraudulent email. Which is sort of like saying there's no such thing as dating; there's only flirting and marriage.

    Significantly, now that about 30 million angry Americans have signed up for the FTC's Do-Not-Call Registry, regulators and politicians have taken note. Those looking out for the DMA's interests would do likewise.

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