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Two leading publications' anniversary issues highlight rapid evolution of direct marketing.

When his brain-child, Who's Mailing What! newsletter, sprang full-blown from Denny Hatch 20 years ago, there was no such thing as a direct mail archive. Individual copywriters had their "swipe files," but Denny's simple idea was to provide an extensive library of all direct mail packages and make them accessible to direct marketers.

In the current, 20th anniversary issue of Inside Direct Mail, as Hatch's newsletter is now called, Lee Marc Stein writes:

"When he started this newsletter, Denny added a strategic dimension to the business. We were all pragmatists, but how could you do what worked if you didn't know what was working? Now we could see what the top practitioners were doing; we could engage in competive intelligence. As an agency guy, I could get samples before I pitched an account or when I sat down to write. Denny's 'Anatomy of a Control' features got us back to basics. He also campaigned against deception from the very early issues."

Inside Driect Mail has vitally helped copywriters and DM consultants communicate with and learn from one another.

DM News

Similarly, DM News has made its mark in the direct marketing industry, starting five years earlier than Denny Hatch with its 1979 launch by Adrian Courtenay.

The weekly newspaper covers the (often controversial) news of the industry, and provides opinion pieces, mailing lists available, and regular advice columns from leading experts in every aspect of DM. Today it goes to 50,300 direct, database, interactive and online marketers.

Describing his "publishing or editorial philosophy for the publication," Courtenay quotes from an early issue:

"Direct marketing is a perfect example of specialized marketplace with issues that affect society at large. Freedom of speech, privacy, government regulation--all of these need to be debated and resolved not only for the good of the direct marketing community, but for the rest of society as well."

In our opinion, DM News has objectively fulfilled that mission. Our congratulations to Inside Direct Mail and DM News.
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Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:The Newsletter on Newsletters
Date:Oct 18, 2004
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