Live from NCDM: Consumers cherish their privacy

(Direct Newsline) Philadelphia–People don’t want marketers to sell personal data about them–unless they get permission first. More than 80% of respondents to a survey said that unauthorized sale of personal information is a serious privacy violation.

The results of the survey, conducted by Yankelovich Monitor MindBase and “Direct” magazine, are to be released today at the NCDM Conference here. (“Direct” is a sister publication of CATALOG AGE.)

Privacy worries carry over to e-mail. Some 87% of those surveyed said that the sale of e-mail lists without permission is a serious privacy violation. And 88% said that the sale of telemarketing lists without permission is a serious privacy violation.

Eighty-eight percent felt that they receive too much unsolicited direct mail. But according to the study, “consumers who most actively complain about direct marketing are also the biggest purchasers of goods and services through direct marketing. They want simplicity. Most consumers prefer to use a single channel for a single transaction.”

Generally speaking, consumers want human contact when it comes time to make purchases, says Craig Wood, president of Yankelovich Monitor MindBase. “Many appear to use catalogs and the Internet to research their purchases but then turn to live-person interactions–either by calling telecenters or visiting retail outlets to complete the deal,” he explains.

Each year, Yankelovich Monitor surveys 2,500 U.S. consumers age 16 and over. For this research, a random sample of 999 respondents were recontacted and asked about direct marketing. The interviews took place June 3-11, 2002.

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