The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today reiterated its commitment to providing transparency and honoring consumer choices in online advertising.

For decades, DMA’s Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice have favored providing the greatest potential consumer choice, requiring marketers to inform consumers of their practices and give consumers choice to not have their data used for various purposes.  Direct marketers must recognize and respect consumer preferences in order to build trusted relationships.

By providing transparency and the choice to opt-out of marketing, businesses have been able to develop strong and trusted relationships with consumers around the globe.  At the same time, consumers worldwide have benefitted from the growth of a vibrant Internet, enjoying a constantly expanding universe of content and services available to them at little or no cost thanks to advertising revenue.

Today, the Internet contributes $300 billion to U.S. GDP and provides jobs for more than 3.1 million people.  Consumers derive $64 billion in value each year from the free content and services available to them online.  The revenue generated through online behavioral advertising makes all of this possible.

“A default ‘Do Not Track’ mechanism is bad for consumers and the Internet economy,” said Linda Woolley, DMA’s acting President and CEO.  “It deviates from widely-accepted responsible industry practices and undercuts consumer choice.”

DMA’s policy positions are derived from our ethical Guidelines and not driven by competitive issues among industry players.  In keeping with DMA’s long-standing tradition of providing transparency and the greatest potential consumer choice, DMA believes that consumers should have privacy tools that give them robust and meaningful choices rather than making choices for them.  The commitment to browser-based choice mechanism made by the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) and the Administration in February 2012 does that while enabling the continued growth of the Internet economy and the immense benefits that consumers derive from it.  DMA remains fully committed to the DAA’s efforts to create responsible standards and provide transparency and control to consumers online.