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Monday, June 11, 2007


John Greco is president of the Direct marketing Assn. (DMA), the trade group that represents the junk mail industry. They are holding their fall 2007, annual convention at McCormack Place in the “windy” city from October 13th to the 18th. I Emailed Greco in April, asking that the DMA provide free access to consumers in the Chicago area who are not connected with the business, and who have an interest to learn just how their names and personal data are being used and sold by junk mailers. I suggested the DMA should add a panel of list professionals to its program who could answer the questions of the public. Since the issues of general privacy and identity theft are foremost in the minds of Americans today, I thought it was a great chance for the industry to be open about what they do with your sensitive data. No answer. Zilch. Greco didn’t even give me the courtesy of a reply, which, as I told him in a recent follow-up Email, doesn’t surprise me, considering the veiled approach junk mailers have taken toward the sale of our names and private information. A number of insiders have even commented in recent trade publications that the industry should be more candid and accessible over the sale of this data. My plan is to submit op-ed articles to the Chicago newspapers, contact talk radio and TV consumer reporters to let them know about the DMA convention, and suggest coverage during the October event to pressure junk mailers to be honest and up front with the public. Any Chicagoans out there? Please let me know if you have any suggestions, and let the DMA know what you think.

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