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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 DMAChoice.org.

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 then please first try to download the appropriate opt-out plug-in that applies to your computer or desktop browser (Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer) at: www.aboutads.info/PMC. OR Option Two: If you choose to opt-out without downloading the plug-in then please make sure your browser is set up to keep cookie history. If your cookies are deleted then it will also delete the opt-out cookie.

Steps to ensure your cookies are not deleted, for example:

1) Open Internet Explorer
2) Click on Tools then scroll to bottom of list and click on Internet Options
3) Under Browsing History, click on Delete button
4) Uncheck Cookies

It will not remove all online advertising just the ones served based on browsing history.

For interest-based ads that are served on your mobile devices, you can download the appropriate app at: http://www.aboutads.info/appchoices.

If you believe that the online interest-based ads that you are being served are based on browsing history and you are having problems opting-out of them, then please email back with a screen shot copy of the ad(s) and which site you saw them on and we can look into this further. To file a complaint, you can click here: (see button on current DMA site but make sure it says Interest-Based Advertisement (IBA) not OBA.

File an Interest-Based Advertisement (IBA) Ethics Complaint


CONTACT INFORMATION

Direct Marketing Association
Corporate & Social Responsibility (CSR) Department

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

ethics@the-dma.org
fax: 202.955.0085

Additional Resources

dmachoice.org
DMA’s Resource Center for Consumers