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Trust Study Reinforces DMA Drive for Self-Regulation


Post Date: March 3, 2014
By: Stephanie Miller

Consumer help - The DMAWe know consumers love their data-driven lifestyles because we see the results in response and engagement.  A new study gives more proof that people will support responsible marketers in the ongoing fight over regulation of data practices.

The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer, a global study of public attitudes toward trust in business and government, asserts, in its own words,  “Business must lead the debate for change and take the chance to redefine value as being also about values.”   We couldn’t agree more. For nearly 100 years, DMA has worked toward self-governance rather than outside regulation of marketing practices, even as Congress and other regulators continue to attack our industry by lumping responsible data-driven marketing together with NSA-led spying at home and abroad.

Here’s one remarkable finding from the Edelman study: “Eighty-four percent of respondents believe that business can pursue its self-interest while doing good work for society.”

Further, the study authors say, “This is, in fact, the license to lead, beyond the legal construct of license to operate, toward a new role of initiating change.”    This year’s study found an unprecedented trust gap of 14 percentage points between business and government – which in some nations is as high as 40 points.   “This can be attributed to a continued destruction of trust in government that began in 2011, and a steady rise in belief in business since its nadir in 2008,” the study found.  Business has largely overcome its “reputation hangover” from the 2008 recession, and opinion in most of the 27 countries in the study holds that government can’t go it alone.

A sobering reality is that this trust can evaporate when people perceive that industry representatives have lied to or misled them. Data stewardship is more than “the new black.” It’s got to be an integrated and integral aspect of responsible marketing.

DMA continues to hold members and the industry accountable for meeting  the standards in the DMA Ethical Business Guidelines. And, we’ve already given consumers wide authority in managing the data they have already provided, whether actively or passively, through DMAChoice.org and AboutAds.info.

Trust is fragile.  Responsible marketing is a commitment to do the right thing by consumers, as well as the bottom line.

 

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