There's a service called Private Citizen that, for a small fee, will help get its customers off of direct marketing lists. The biggest provider of such lists, Acxiom, has recently decided that they will ignore any requests from Private Citizen to get people out of their database. They say, instead, that each individual person needs to contact the company directly. This is particularly ironic, in that the vast majority of people (just about everyone) who is on an Acxiom list has no clue they're on such a list - because Acxiom certainly doesn't wait for you to contact them directly to put you on their lists. Acxiom says they want people to contact them directly so that the opt-outs aren't done without the person's permission - as if there's some sneaky group out there taking people off of direct mailing lists against the wishes of the people being inundated with spam and telemarketing calls. Meanwhile, they have no problem taking people off the list if the request comes from the Direct Marketing Association - a company of which they're a member. So, their basic argument (people need to contact them directly) is provably false. They simply don't like the idea of removing people if the requests come from Public Citizen.
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