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Spamhaus blocks the Direct Marketing Association

By Ken Simpson | 2 minute read

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a US-based trade organization that aims to help its members push their marketing messages out through direct marketing channels. According to the Magill Report, Spamhaus blocklisted four of the IP addresses from which the DMA sends email campaigns during the past six months, because the organization has reportedly been sending email to spam traps. On their own website, Spamhaus writes about the DMA:

The (American) Direct Marketing Association (“The DMA”) is a pro-spam group, not an anti-spam group. The DMA’s mission is to advance the interests of junk email senders. The DMA is an out-of-touch but well-funded association that lobbies against spam laws in the United States. The position of the DMA is that “spam is freedom of commercial speech”, and that the rights of their members to send you spam override your rights to not have your private email mailbox filled with unwanted spam at your expense. The DMA therefore advocate Opt-out (spamming) instead of Opt-in (permission-based marketing).


The DMA contends that they absolutely did not use dirty mailing lists (i.e. lists that might contain spam trap addresses), and that all of the addresses in their database were obtained through proper opt-in methods. However, given Spamhaus and others’ contentions that spam trap addresses were mailed by the DMA, it’s very very hard to believe that someone isn’t telling the whole truth. I would tend to side with Spamhaus and the other anti-abuse companies on this one. It’s one thing to hit a single spam trap; however, DMA apparently had hit 44 or more spam trap addresses. That makes it next to impossible that they weren’t scraping addresses or using a dirty list built from such underhanded techniques.

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