December 13, 2012 – The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today extolled the individual, societal, and economic benefits of data-driven marketing during a congressional briefing hosted by Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Joe Barton (R-TX), co-chairs of the Congressional Privacy Caucus.  DMA was joined by industry leaders, consumer activists, and Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill in a discussion of the business and privacy practices of an industry segment characterized as “data brokers.” The briefing follows a July 25, 2012 query by members of Congress of nine companies they labeled “data brokers.”

Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s senior vice president of government affairs, participated in the briefing on behalf of DMA.  “There is no question that data has transformed the marketing landscape forever,” Cerasale stated prior to the briefing.  “Our increasingly data-driven world is reshaping how consumers and brands engage, interact — and benefit from one another.  Data-driven marketing benefits consumers individually by informing their buying decisions, and collectively by fueling competition.  Marketing data is informing the political process as well, fueling successful political campaigns across the country — including the recent presidential campaigns.”[1]

Commercial data practices are essential to America’s job creation, economic growth, and global leadership.  In the digital age, data-driven marketing is the fuel on which America’s free market engine runs.  This year, data-driven marketing accounts for 8.7 percent of the total U.S. gross domestic product.  Data-driven marketers — both commercial and nonprofit — collectively fuel 9.2 million U.S. jobs.  From global brands to start-ups, data-driven marketing helps companies to find customers, grow, and create jobs.

DMA continues to support industry self-regulation as the most efficient and effective means to address any privacy concerns raised by marketing uses of data.  DMA has consistently demonstrated that self-regulation delivers robust yet flexible standards that adapt quickly to technological changes, provide robust and meaningful choices to consumers, and are an effective means of enforcing ethical standards on the data-driven marketing community.

“DMA has spent nearly 100 years ensuring that marketers respect consumer choices while remaining able to provide the products and services consumers most desire with the convenience and value they demand,” Cerasale said.  “The incredible growth of ecommerce — with online spending on Cyber Monday soaring to $1.46 billion this year — is strong evidence that consumers are delighted with the results of data-driven marketing, and that the American economy is growing stronger as a result.”


[1] Lois Romano, “Obama’s Data Advantage”, Politico (June 9, 2012), available at


About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)

The Direct Marketing Association ( is the world’s largest trade association dedicated to advancing and protecting responsible data-driven marketing.  Founded in 1917, DMA represents thousands of companies and nonprofit organizations that use and support data-driven marketing practices and techniques.

In 2012, marketers — commercial and nonprofit —will spend $168.5 billion on direct marketing, which accounts for 52.7 percent of all ad expenditures in the United States.  Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures will generate approximately $2.05 trillion in incremental sales.  In 2012, direct marketing accounts for 8.7 percent of total US gross domestic product and produces1.3 million direct marketing employees in the US.  Their collective sales efforts directly support 7.9 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.2 million US jobs.

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