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DMA Helps You Exercise Your Own Choices

Consumer help - The DMA

We respect your privacy – and so do our members. DMA ensures that consumers have choices about unwanted marketing offers. Our members honor consumers who don’t want to be contacted. You have choices about the type of marketing you receive – two of our consumer services deal with mail and catalogs and online advertising.

How DMA Protects Consumer Choices

DMA protects you by making sure that marketers use data responsibly for marketing purposes only. We are like the “cop on the beat.” If any marketer is not using data in an ethical manner, or sending you unwanted marketing offers, then we work within an ethics complaint process to get them into compliance or we will refer them to appropriate regulatory and consumer protection agencies to take swift action. Read more about it in this fact sheet or at

Among other steps, we require our members to:

  • Vigilantly protect the consumer data that they collect and use
  • Provide notice and choice about what data is being collected, and why
  • Offer consumers choices for unwanted marketing offers
  • Follow the DMA Guidelines for Ethical Business Practices and set a high bar for responsible marketing that will earn your trust.

More Information About Marketing Data

Our “Know the Truth About Your Data” infographic is designed to help you understand how marketing data is used responsibly for marketing purposes. Feel free to share it with others.

Tools You Can Use:

As a consumer, if you believe that a member of DMA has employed a questionable marketing promotion or  practice, please file an online complaint. Our committee will review your complaint and contact you if follow-up information is needed before referral of the case to the
Committee on Ethical Business Practice.

If you seek to file a complaint about a marketing offer or fundraising solicitation, you may file a complaint by clicking here:
File a General Ethics Complaint

If you seek to file a complaint about an unwanted online ad that you believe has been served to you based on your browsing history, you can click here:
File an Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) Ethics Complaint


Direct Marketing Association
Corporate & Social Responsibility (CSR) Department

1615 L St. NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036-5624
fax: 202.955.0085

Additional Resources
DMA’s Resource Center for Consumers