People are often confused about how to manage their privacy and get their name and address removed from mailing lists. Turns out that companies are adding to the confusion.
Companies often tell consumers to go to the DMA to get their name removed from mailing lists. Here is the DMA's position on this as set forth in a recent email from the DMA Corporate & Social Responsibility group:
Do Not Pass the Buck!
Consumers continue to be sent to the DMA by companies who are “passing the buck…” Company representatives are telling consumers that DMA is the source of the data and if the consumer wants to be removed from the company’s mailing list, the individual must contact DMA. We cannot help consumers get off of your individual list. (emphasis added)
As a reminder, please ensure that you train your staff to input consumer requests directly into your internal preference files. The DMA does not issue marketing lists and is not the source of your data. If a consumer asks to be removed from your list, you need to ensure that you have an in-house suppression process in place. For consumers that want to be removed from all mailings, these consumers may visit http://www.dmachoice.org to add themselves to industry-wide suppression files. Thank you for your assistance to provide proper help to consumers!
Catalog Choice is designed to help consumers manage their privacy and choose which company marketing lists to leave their name on and which ones to get off of. Without the help of Catalog Choice, you have to contact hundreds of companies that you do business with to instruct them how you want the to handle your name and address.
Lastly, you have to contact the company with your request. Our studies show that it takes over 5 minutes per company. If you do this for 100 companies that is an investment of 500 minutes or 8.3 hours. At 8 hours a day, that is a full days you would have to spend to control how companies use your name and address. Very few people will invest this amount of time to manage their privacy.
So, that is why we built Catalog Choice. Citizens want to stop the flow of unwanted mail, but like recycling they want it to be easy. So we figured if we applied some good old fashion ingenuity and automation, we could make this process easy enough for people to do. It is a win for everyone. Less clutter in your home, less wasted marketing dollars for companies and less wasted resources for the world.