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MULTIPLE DO-NOT-CALL LISTS ARE NOT A SOLUTION
NEW YORK, February 14, 2002 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today reiterated its call for one truly national do-not-call registry that offers the broadest possible coverage, enabling consumers to reduce or eliminate unwanted telephone marketing calls by simply going to only one source.
"The DMA does not oppose a national do-not-call list," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "How could we? We have had one since 1985 and it has been a benefit for our consumers and marketing members alike. Legitimate marketers want to market to consumers who are likely to welcome commercial offers."
"Government would better serve its citizens by aggressively prosecuting illegitimate, fly-by-night operators," Wientzen continued.
Multiple lists have already been enacted and proposed around the country, but this can lead to errors in ensuring consumers are removed from telephone marketing lists. It also increases costs to telephone marketers and their nearly 180 million customers, who last year purchased more than $270 billion in goods and services by phone from home. An additional $390 billion was generated in the business-to-business market.
On the phone, consumers buy everything from real estate to food in addition to making charitable donations. In 2001, the top five industries, in terms of sales, were:
Many of the state-specific lists – and even the one proposed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – lack the ability to cover the breadth of industries that use telephone marketing as a critical part of their interactions with consumers.
"The FTC list gives the appearance of blanket coverage, but actually only provides what can best be described as ‘swiss cheese’ coverage. The FTC simply does not have jurisdiction over the many swaths of the economy relying on telephone marketing, including intra-state commerce, banking, insurance and nonprofits," said Wientzen.
By comparison, The DMA’s Telephone Preference Service (TPS) covers all of these industries and many more – both intra-state and interstate commerce – and does it without spending taxpayer dollars. All 4,700 DMA member companies who do business in the U.S. are required to "scrub" their telephone marketing lists against TPS to ensure that they respect consumers’ preferences. Members who do not abide by these provisions are subject to expulsion from The DMA and the attendant publicity of such an action.
TPS is also available and used by non-member firms – sometimes directly, but most often through service bureaus that use TPS, thereby extending its reach.
Consumers can choose to add their phone number to a national list for free by sending a signed letter or postcard with name, address and phone number to The DMA at:
Telephone Preference Service
Consumers can expect to see a decrease in telephone marketing within 60 to 90 days. Or, for faster action, go to WWW.DMACONSUMERS.ORG and sign up online for a $5 fee.
Registration on the TPS list eliminates approximately 80 percent of telephone marketing calls.
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.86 trillion in 2001, including $118 billion in catalog sales and $30 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web site iswww.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.
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