Direct Marketing Association

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The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) was founded in 1917. According to its website it is "the largest trade association for businesses interested in direct, database, and interactive global marketing, with about 4,700 member companies from the United States and 53 foreign nations on six continents".

Pro-junk mail activism

DMA is heavily involved in fighting proposed legislation to create "do not mail" lists that would give consumers the ability to stop excessive junk mail from being sent to their homes and businesses. Such a list would be similar to the federally-mandated "do not call" list that restricts telemarketing calls.

In 2006, DMA created the front group Mail Moves America to organize opposition to no-junk-mail list legislation. DMA argues that "do not mail lists" are bad public policy because 1) millions of jobs depend on junk mail, 2) junk mail is a conduit through which consumers receive "local information," 3) Post offices derive needed revenue from junk mail, and 4) legislation is not needed for consumers to remove their names and addresses from marketing lists. DMA consistently refers to junk mail as "advertising mail," to deflect the negative connotations of the phrase "junk mail" [1]

DMA's pro-junk-mail arguments closely resemble strategies used by the tobacco industry to fight public health measures: 1) shift the focus of the debate onto the economic contribution that the detrimental product makes to the country, 2) argue that legislation against the damaging product is unnecessary and that personal responsibility and industry self-regulation are preferable to legislation, 3) argue that advertising is a conduit through which important information is delivered to consumers, and 4) argue that businesses would be seriously disadvantaged by legislation of the damaging product.


Accessed December 2007: [2]

Contact details

1120 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Phone: (212) 768-7277
Fax: (212) 302-6714

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch articles


  1. Direct Marketing Association DMA's web site about Mail Moves America Accessed March 27, 2008
  2. Directors, Direct Marketing Association, accessed December 3, 2007.

External Articles