The Data & Marketing Association’s (“DMA”) 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 DMA’s long-standing policy of promoting the highest levels of ethics in data stewardship and marketing. DMA believes it is the responsibility of DMA, 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 DMA’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, DMA 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 DMA’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.
DMA’s Guidelines provide the basis for DMA 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 DMA’s guidance and best practice documents. DMA also asks its members to review the Fair Information Practices and Principles (FIPPs). Please send questions or marketing complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org.