I spend a good part of every day advancing the cause of self regulation for data-driven marketing.  We cannot let stand unchallenged any statements other than the truth:  Responsible data-driven marketing is  good for our economy and consumers.

Anytime you see a journalist, blogger or policymaker suggesting otherwise, pull these talking points out of your pocket:

  1. A widely adopted solution already exists to provide choice for consumers looking to opt out of targeted online advertising.  The Ad Options icon  is displayed on trillions of online adverts every month.  More than 25 million consumers have clicked to find out more, and a small number have indeed exercised their option to opt out of targeted advertising.  Industry agrees with Congress, the FTC and many pundits:  Consumers should have choice.  Industry has given consumers that choice – and it’s working.
  2. The responsible and transparent use of online data by marketers is good for consumers. And they tell us so every day by interacting with targeted advertising and other content twice as often as non-targeted advertising.  It’s also good for the economy.  Advertisers pay for targeted advertising at much higher rates, keeping publishers, retailers and other online service providers in business.  Plus, marketing data used for marketing purposes fuels our digital lifestyles. Everything from earning value from loyalty programs to having preferences saved on an e-commerce website to seeing ads that actually have some relevance…. consumers have choices through programs like Ad Options as well as the thousands of customized services and preference centers managed by business which respect and honor consumer choice.
  3. Consumers choose targeted marketing content over non-targeted every day, with nearly 70%  saying in a recent survey that they want at least part of their advertising to be targeted.  The choice should remain up to consumers – not government.  What government should look into is whether consumer choice is limited by competitive or other business practices, as some of the browser owners aim to do.
  4. DMA accepts tens of thousands of calls from consumers every year, helping them opt out of unwanted direct mail and email through our DMAChoice service.   We ask every DMA member to respect consumer requests by utilizing the DMAChoice suppression list.
  5. DMA enforces our industry-developed Ethical Guidelines and Member Principles, giving bad actors and non-compliant companies warnings to change behavior before we suspend membership and report them to the appropriate authorities.  The non-compliant list is published on our website, along with information about how how responsible marketers can build consumer trust.

Whether you are at a cocktail party, on the golf course, or doing business with partners or pundits, your voice matters.  Stand tall for responsible data-driven marketing – and help DMA keep the channels open and clear for innovation and higher ROI.


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