Flight for Your Rights


With the scent of cherry blossoms still lingering in the air, the Government Affairs Fly-In kicked off in early May last year with an all-star cast of the government’s regulators and the industry’s regulated, working in harmony to head off problems before they occur. Peter Marinello, director of the Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program (ERSP), Lee Peeler, president and CEO of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC), and Lois Greisman, head of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices in the Bureau of Consumer Protection, appeared along with a host of C-level decision-makers to discuss issues affecting the electronic retailing space and the importance of self-regulatory initiatives.


Attendees traveling to the nation’s capital for the annual event get an inside look at the legislative process; in 2012, they met with congressional leaders, lobbyists, and other policymakers. “In order for members to truly grasp the importance of advocacy, they need to experience it for themselves,” says Bill McClellan, ERA’s vice president of government affairs. “Not only that, but there is strength in numbers. When we hit the Hill in force—unified behind the interests of everyone in the direct response marketing community—we can really have an effect on the future of the industry.”


This year’s Government Affairs Fly-In is set to take place May 21–22 at Washington SunTrust Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and features speakers Maureen K. Ohlhausen, FTC commissioner, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), chairman of the House Subcommittee of Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, and Lee Peeler, ASRC, as well as team meetings on issues facing DR and private appointments on Capitol Hill. While not all participants have to fly in if the Acela can get them there just as fast, the industry can’t soar quite as high without their voices.