December 31, 2001

To ensure the responsibility and growth of the $661.8 billion teleservices industry amid growing government scrutiny and consumer concerns, The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) Board of Directors has approved the establishment of a Teleservices Ethics Operating Committee. Aiming to reduce unethical telemarketing practices, the committee will review cases of alleged violations of self-regulatory guidelines and will recommend new guidelines and business practices relevant to the teleservices industry.

"Telephone marketing is a very important direct marketing channel for businesses," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "However, telephone marketing is a big target for government, consumer and media scrutiny. Because responsible marketers depend on the trust and confidence of consumers, The DMA Board of Directors unanimously voted to create this important new committee to insure continued integrity and viability of this industry."

The DMA’s new Teleservices Ethics Operating Committee will serve as an industry watchdog and will help enforce "The DMA Guidelines for Ethical Telephone Marketing Practices," "The DMA Privacy Promise," and eight specific telephone marketing practices. These include articles regarding notice, consumer choice, name removal, collection and transfer of data, and monitoring, among other practices.

Violation of any of these guidelines can result in committee recommendations of censure, suspension, or expulsion from membership to The DMA Board of Directors. The DMA Board’s decisions on these matters will be made public.

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