Marketers' Greatest Big Government Threat: Being the Boogieman
November 3, 2014

Whether the issue is privacy, data security or spam, we never seem far from the specter of governments taking actions that would knock the pillars out from under the best direct marketing plans. At DMA2014 in San Diego, we got the chance to talk to DMA's VP of Government Affairs Rachel Nyswander Thomas about where we might see trouble coming, and what marketers can do to keep the politicians on their side.

They're in the Mail: Government Mail Surveillance Outed
October 30, 2014

Do you ever feel like you're being watched? Well, even if you don't, you probablydefinitely are. We live in a post-Snowden world; this is now common, garden-variety knowledge that the NSA is observing every facet of our increasingly mechanistic society. And lest anyone naïvely think our print mail was the last bastion of privacy, The New York Times recently helped make us widely aware of earlier news from Politico that is no longer the case.

Denny's Zinger: With Customer Care, Use the Government Example
October 29, 2014

In mid-September, we flew into Philadelphia from France and followed the crowd to passport control and baggage claim. We have been through this drill a gazillion times. It is always quick and efficient. The officers may ask where we've been and why and how long we've been away. They are polite, pleasant, sometimes chatty.

Denny's Zinger: Don't Believe What You Read!
October 15, 2014

Here's an AP headline and lede last week: "Americans Living Longer as Most Death Rates Fall"—Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report filled mostly with good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell.

Denny's Zinger of the Day: The Right Guy With the Right Stuff
October 3, 2014

Peggy and I love the American presidency. The pomp and panoply of presidential trips, White House galas, press conferences, one-on-one Q&As—we're there glued to the telly. Apart from the president, we looked for the square-jawed Secret Service guy who was always next to the president scanning the crowd.

Denny's Zinger of the Day: The Barack Obama Team - Lousy Communicators
September 26, 2014

Yet another story of an Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) success hit my Archive today. Two points: 1) This is Kentucky, where Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to obliterate Obamacare and cripple this presidency. 2) Most success stories are about happy enrollees whose lives were saved by Obamacare.

Supreme Court to Hear DMA Case Against Colorado Tax Law
July 2, 2014

The Supreme Court of the United States today announced that it will hear a case brought by the DMA relating to a Colorado law imposing a notice and reporting scheme on remote sellers that do not collect state sales tax. The Supreme Court agreed to consider the question of whether federal courts may decide constitutional challenges to state tax regulations affecting only out-of-state businesses

The 'Right to be Forgotten' - Ode to Solitude
June 9, 2014

Alexander Pope is making a 21st Century comeback. I'd love to be in Google's conference room as the team there decides just how to adhere to a European court's decision that European citizens have a right to be forgotten (on Google). Or what about email? A UK court just took a British retailer to task—John Lewis—for having a pre-checked form box for new customers that permits an email communication to the paying customer, along with an easy-to-use opt-out

DMA Comments on FTC 'Data Broker' Report
May 28, 2014

The Direct Marketing Association today responded to the findings of a new report released by the Federal Trade Commission entitled: "Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability." "We appreciate the Commission's ongoing interest on these issues. The calls for notice, choice and transparency are consistent with existing hallmarks of the ethical standards for our industry, which DMA has produced and enforced for more than 40 years

FTC to Congress: Require Data Brokers to Give Consumers More Control Over Their Information
May 28, 2014

In a report issued today on the data broker industry, the Federal Trade Commission finds that data brokers operate with a fundamental lack of transparency. The Commission recommends that Congress consider enacting legislation to make data broker practices more visible to consumers and to give consumers greater control over the immense amounts of personal information about them collected and shared by data brokers.