DMA: Data and Marketing Association
Consumer Help

Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice

Code of Conduct

The ANA Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice (“Guidelines”) are intended to provide individuals and entities involved in data-driven marketing in all media with generally accepted principles of conduct. These Guidelines reflect ANA’s long-standing policy of promoting the highest levels of ethics in data stewardship and marketing. ANA believes it is the responsibility of ANA, its members, and all entities involved in data and marketing to develop trusted consumer relationships that are based on fair and ethical principles.

These Guidelines represent ANA’s general philosophy that self-regulatory measures are preferable to governmental intervention and regulation. Self-regulatory actions by our industry are more readily adaptable to changing technology and economic and social conditions. They encourage widespread use of sound business practices that lead to better results for entities and valuable customer and donor experiences that improve lives while respecting individual privacy concerns.

In this version of the Guidelines, ANA has examined many data-specific provisions and revised and updated them to reflect today’s practices. These revised provisions make up the Data Standards (“Standards”) contained in Part I of the Guidelines. Part II contains the Marketing Guidelines. Other than for consistency, the provisions in Part II have not been reassessed or changed from the prior version of the Guidelines.

In addition to providing general guidance and enforceable standards to the industry, the Guidelines are used by ANA’s Committee on Ethical Business Practice Enforcement (“Committee”) as the standard to which data and marketing promotions are held. The Committee is comprised of seasoned marketing professionals who review consumer complaints to ensure industry adherence to these Guidelines.

Because dishonest, misleading, or offensive communications discredit all means of advertising and marketing, observance of these Guidelines by all concerned is expected. All persons involved in data stewardship and marketing should take reasonable steps to encourage industry members, partners, and affiliates to follow these Guidelines as well.

ANA’s Guidelines provide the basis for ANA member compliance for ethical data and marketing practices and compliance primarily under U.S. laws. Global companies should review international rules in addition to U.S. rules. For compliance examples and best practices which may be more specific and illustrative than the baseline Guidelines, please refer to ANA’s guidance and best practice documents. ANA also asks its members to review the Fair Information Practices and Principles (FIPPs). Please send questions or marketing complaints to ethics@ANA.NET.

ANA Member Principles

ANA Member Principles (“Principles”) are the underlying framework for the Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice as detailed herein, and for Guidelines that will be drafted in the future. These Principles apply to ANA members’ relationships with current and prospective customers, donors, and members, and are the foundation for all ANA members, which includes those who market not only to consumers, but also to businesses, government agencies, and “SOHO” (small-office/home-office) entities. The Principles provide a general statement to the public of the expectations it can have when dealing with ANA members.

A ANA Member:

  1. Is committed to customer satisfaction, good corporate citizenship, and responsible environmental, community, and financial stewardship.
  2. Clearly, honestly, and accurately represents its products, services, and terms and conditions.
  3. Delivers its products and services as represented.
  4. Communicates in a respectful and courteous manner.
  5. Responds to inquiries and complaints in a constructive, timely way
  6. Maintains appropriate security policies and practices to safeguard data
  7. Provides information on its policies about the transfer of personally identifiable data for marketing
  8. Honors requests not to have personally identifiable data transferred for marketing
  9. Honors requests not to receive future solicitations from the entity
  10. Follows the spirit and letter of the law as well as ANA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice

Part II: Marketing

  1. DMA Choice and Related Consumer Choice Files
    Article 1. Providing Consumer Choice and Privacy Notice Information
    Article 2. Processing Consumer Choices
    Article 3. DMAchoice and Related Consumer Choice Files
  2. Marketing Lists
    Article 1. Promotion of Marketing Lists
    Article 2. Marketing List Usage
  3. Marketing to Children
  4. Digital Marketing
    Article 1. Mobile Service Commercial Message Solicitations Delivered to a Wireless Device
    Article 2. Commercial Solicitations Online
    Article 3. Email Authentication
    Article 4. Use of Software or Other Similar Technology Installed on a Computer or Similar Device
    Article 5. Email Appending to Consumer Records
  5. Telephone Marketing to Landline & Wireless Devices
    Article 1. Reasonable Hours
    Article 2. Taping of Conversations
    Article 3. Restricted Contacts
    Article 4. Caller-ID/Automatic Number Identification Requirements
    Article 5. Use of Automated Dialing Equipment, “Robo” Calling
    Article 6. Use of Prerecorded Voice & Text Messaging
    Article 7. Use of Telephone Facsimile Machines
    Article 8. Promotions for Response by Toll-Free and Pay-Per-Call Numbers
    Article 9. Disclosure and Tactics
  6. Mobile Marketing
    Article 1. Obtaining Consent to Contact Mobile Devices
    Article 2. Providing Notice and Choice About Mobile Marketing Practices
    Article 3. Mobile Opt-Out Requests
    Article 4. Sponsorship or Affiliate Marketing
    Article 5. Location-Based Mobile Marketing
    Article 6. Mobile Subscription Services and Premium Rate Mobile Services
  7. Fundraising
  8. Laws, Codes and Regulations

ANA Resources

Click here for numerous other resources developed by the Department of Corporate & Social Responsibility.

To report a complaint regarding a marketing practice that may violate these Guidelines.

The ANA Advocacy and Accountability team recently launched a Certificate in Ethical Data & Marketing Practices teaching responsible marketing practices centered around the new updates to ANA’s ethical guidelines.

Ethical Data Marketing Practices Training Certificate

ANA’s Department of Corporate & Social Responsibility

In its continuing efforts to improve and advance the practices of marketing and the marketer’s relationship with customers, ANA sponsors several activities through its Department of Corporate & Social Responsibility (CSR):

  • Ethical Guidelines are maintained, updated periodically, and distributed to the data and marketing community.
  • The Committee on Ethical Business Practice Enforcement investigates and examines promotions and practices throughout the data and marketing community that are brought to its attention.
  • The Ethics, Standards, and Guidelines Committee revises the Guidelines as needed, and initiates programs and projects directed toward improved ethical awareness in the data and marketing arena.
  • ANA builds consumer trust in the data and marketing process by offering individual choices online and offline.

www.DMAchoice.org offers consumers assistance in managing their mail and email marketing preferences, and provides consumer education.

www.Aboutads.info provides consumers choices for online behavioral advertising.