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DMA Defends Itself Against Executive Committee Member Charges

30 Sep, 2009 Response This Week

NEW YORK – Direct Marketing Association (DMA) President and CEO John A. Greco, Jr. and Chairman of the Board Kelly B. Browning responded almost immediately last week to the first note in an E-mail campaign by an executive committee member that questioned the organization’s governance and mission.

Greco and Browning’s response message said that Pike’s E-mail was confusing and “requires a clear statement of facts so that you can make an appropriate decision about your proxy.” The message said that the DMA welcomes dissenting voices, but that Pike’s information included misrepresentations and innuendos. It claimed Pike’s charges of the DMA staff not working hard to deliver value was false, as staff reductions were “painful but prudent, and despite the cuts we have managed to aggressively pursue many opportunities to not only survive, but to thrive when the economy moderates.”

The message went on to talk about the DMA’s global curriculum for direct marketing education, the leadership role in self-regulation and its commitment to environmental efforts.

In addressing compensation accusations, the note stated that the president’s compensation was within range of comparable organizations and when the recession hook hold, the DMP froze all executive salaries.

Executive committee member Gerry Pike sent the initial E-mail and has launched a Web site questioning the governance of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), during a year of fiscal challenges. The site,, states that the DMA’s relevancy is fading, membership falling and events failing as dues are turning away long-time members.

Pike’s E-mail message from a week ago asks DMA members to take a closer look at what he contends is going on in the group. His contentions include: the DMA is a non-profit, but the CEO is receiving close to a million dollars in pay; that membership revenue and reserves have plunged as management has failed to communicate with members; and DMA’s relevancy is fading as competitors drive the digital marketplace.

Pike is asking members to use their DMA Voting Member Proxy at the Oct. 18 Annual Business Meeting in San Diego to help change the situation. He also sent a second, similar E-mail earlier this week.

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