FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 10, 2017
Contact: Mike Uehlein – or 202-861-2441

Released at DMA’s &THEN, Revised Guidelines Result from Year-Long Process with DMA Membership

Today, the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) released an update to its self-regulatory rules governing responsible marketing. DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice have been in place and enforced for more than 60 years. This update is the product of DMA’s Data Standards 2.0 initiative, which brought member companies together to collectively review and update the standards that guide the marketing industry in the responsible use of data.

“Organizations across the marketing industry all share a common goal – to form customer relationships based on truth, results and trust,” said Tom Benton, Data & Marketing Association CEO. “With the rapidly increasing rate of data generation, this update is critical to ensuring DMA’s Guidelines keep pace with the innovative ways marketers are transforming data into actionable insight. These updated standards ensure that industry self-regulation protects and builds customer trust while nurturing advances in marketing practices, technology and responsible data use.”

Key revisions resulting from the Data Standards 2.0 initiative include:

  • “Onboarding” – providing consumers notice and choice when companies combine consumer data with Digital Identifiers for Marketing
  • Connected Devices – ensuring that consumers have appropriate notice regarding data collected and used by Internet of Things devices for marketing purposes
  • Data Innovation – updated definitions to reflect advances in data and marketing technology

Release of the final updated standards were announced at &THEN, DMA’s global data and marketing event. “The development of these updated standards would not be possible without the collaboration of numerous DMA member companies,” said Emmett O’Keefe, DMA’s SVP of Advocacy. “As the only trade association representing the entire data and marketing ecosystem, DMA has the unique ability to synthesize perspectives and advance accountability across the industry. We look forward to continued work alongside our membership as we move forward toward implementation of these rules.”

The updated standards can be downloaded on DMA’s website. Questions regarding implementation of the standards can be directed to DMA’s Ethics and Compliance Department at

“We are committed to providing companies and organizations the information needed to comply with these standards,” said DMA General Counsel Senny Boone, head of DMA’s Accountability & Compliance department. “Importantly, we will ensure that consumers can continue to raise concerns and gain resolution through our robust self-enforcement mechanism in these areas as we have done for more than 60 years. We take seriously our role to build consumer trust through self-regulation in data-driven marketing, while advancing innovation for consumers through data-driven marketing techniques that improve their lives.”

In June, DMA released its annual report on the association’s self-regulatory oversight. Since 2011, DMA has processed over 56,000 consumer inquiries under its existing guidelines, which are continually updated with the assistance of DMA Board-approved members serving on the Ethics, Standards & Guidelines Committee. Enforcement and casework of the guidelines is conducted by DMA Accountability staff in partnership with the Committee on Ethical Business Practice Enforcement.

About DMA ( Founded in 1917 and driving the data and marketing agenda for a full century, the Data & Marketing Association (“DMA”) champions deeper consumer engagement and business value through the innovative and responsible use of data-driven marketing. DMA’s brand-leading membership is made up of over 1,400 organizations that are today’s innovative tech and data firms, marketers, agencies, service providers and media companies. By representing the entire marketing ecosystem—demand side and supply side—and engaging more than 100,000 industry professionals annually, DMA is uniquely positioned to convene and guide the industry to bring win/win solutions to the market, and ensure that innovative and disruptive marketing technology and techniques can be quickly applied for ROI.

DMA advances the data-driven marketing industry and serves its members through four principal pillars of leadership: advocating for marketers’ ability to responsibly gather and refine detailed data to identify and fulfill customer needs and interests; innovating to bring solutions forward to the data & marketing ecosystem’s most vexing challenges; educating today’s members of the data & marketing ecosystem to grow and lead marketing organizations in the ever-increasing omnichannel world; and connecting industry participants to stay current, learn best practices and gain access to emerging solutions through &THEN – the largest global event for data-driven marketing – and DMA’s portfolio of other live events.