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Friday, January 12, 2007

Name, Personal Data Should be Recognized as Media Form

Like TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers, Internet

This is an idea I have toyed with for several years. Establish our names and private information as an official class of media like broadcasting, print and the Internet. Each of these entities has control over the use of their medium, and is paid handsomely for it. This new innovation could be called "Moniker Media," for lack of something more creative. Companies and government would have access to the Moniker Media, but only with the public’s permission, making this medium targeted, compared with the others’ shotgun approach.

Advertising a Fast-Growth Business

According to Kagan Research, a leading consumer research firm, advertising revenues will increase by almost 18 percent between 2007 and 2010, from $269.3 billion to $317.7 billion. I mention this because it doesn’t even include the sale of your name and private information by the junk mail industry, a figure that is well guarded due to its sensitivity. I have an idea what that is but decided to go to the experts to get their answers.

Junk Mail Industry’s Most Guarded Secret

I Emailed the Direct Marketing Association, industry trade organization, and DM News and Direct Magazine, leading industry trade papers. Not a word. Zilch. That’s been over a week with no reply, and, as has been the case in the past when asking for this kind of info, I don’t expect a response. These are not trade secrets, or at least, they shouldn’t be. Consumers have the right to know how much their names and personal data is being sold for. After all, they are the name-holder.

Actual Figure is Staggering

I have developed my own formula for determining what your names and private information sell for on the open market, and you should be aghast at the amount simply because you are not sharing in the gold mine. $4 billion annually and growing each year. That’s right and the growth of this field surpasses traditional advertising, therefore, it is probably more like 20 percent. If that’s the case, the $4 billion will be something like $4.8 billion in 2010. So what’s the purpose in telling you all this?

Supplement Your Retirement with Junk Mail

You can supplement your retirement income by an average of $607 monthly just by shopping junk mail, but first you must take control over your sensitive data. Either both business and government must agree to this arrangement, or federal legislation must be passed that will make it law. Then, half the annual revenue (currently $4 billion) goes into a simple interest-bearing account that can add up to the $607 figure at retirement.

Everybody Wins!

There is an initial loss of mailing list revenue by junk mailers, but they make it up in new customers anxious to share in the rewards of Moniker Media. Consumers will also have the right to decide what junk mail they want to receive, thus, making it more targeted for companies. The customer will also feel more secure in giving up personal data since they have control over its use. Government will have access to certain data based on need, but also with independent oversight. The individual, of course, gets what should have been theirs for years.

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