What Should You Do?
Facing these threats and others like them, Cerasale laid out a series of steps he says direct marketers must take to, frankly, keep the Feds off your back:
- "You have to have a security breach plan—it's impossible to be 100 percent safe—and it has to be in writing!" As far as the Feds are concerned, Cerasale says unwritten data breach plans don't count.
- "If you're marketing to children, Congress is watching." Be careful, protect children or it will lead to government involvement that will make it harder on everyone.
- The DMA backs the Advertising Information Icon of the Digital Advertising Alliance, and would like "to work with [Web browser developers] so there's compatibility" between browser-based do-not-track tools and the Advertising Information Icon. "This is something every one of you should be using," says Cerasale. "We have to have significant buy-in across the Internet ecosystem in order for this to work."
- Don't back off of recycling, says Cerasale. He points out that do-not-mail has largely been beaten back thanks to the impact it would have on the jobs market. But there are still pockets of support, particularly stemming from the medium's perceived waste. Cerasale recommends you include the Recycle Please logo and instructions on all paper-based marketing materials to refute the argument that direct mail is inherently wasteful.