|Login / Resources for Consumers / Create a FREE Online Account / Contact Us|
|Membership||Issues||Events||Professional Development||Who We Are||Contact|
DMA Continues to Support a One-Stop National Do-Not- Call List for Consumers and Marketers
NEW YORK, January 29, 2003 – Today, The DMA filed suit in the U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, OK to protect the U.S. telemarketing industry, an industry that is critical to the American economy.
In its lawsuit, The DMA argues that the FTC's proposed government-run do-not-call registry would violate First Amendment rights to advertise freely. Also, The DMA asserts that in creating such a list, the FTC exceeded its statutory authority. In addition, The DMA points out that the FCC is considering a similar proposal, opening the door to potential bureaucratic duplication. The FCC is expected to make its recommendation in a matter of a few months.
The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) reiterated its support for a national do-not-call list that provides a one-stop mechanism for opting out of national telephone solicitations for consumers and a one-stop shop for marketers to clean their lists. Such a national registry should include the lists from the various states, which the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) not the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is required to do, in any no-call list the FCC mandates.
"The DMA continues to support a national do-not-call list that provides a one-stop mechanism for opting out of national telephone solicitations for consumers and a one-stop shop for marketers to clean their lists," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "That is why we established The DMA’s Telephone Preference Service (TPS) in 1985."
"The FTC clearly overreached and acted prematurely in attempting to set up a government-run do-not-call registry and to regulate other technical aspects of the industry," Wientzen added. "The FTC would have served the industry and consumers better had it waited until the FCC completed its review."
The FCC is not limited in the industries over which it can apply a do-not-call registry. By acting beyond the scope of its legal authority, the FTC also will burden consumers and telemarketers, potentially requiring them to subscribe to numerous registries. At the very least, the FTC should have waited until its sister federal agency ruled on its similar proposal so as to avoid bureaucratic duplication.
"The recently proposed actions also raise grave concerns about regulation of constitutionally protected commercial free speech," said Wientzen. "The FTC is singling out this form of advertising now, what will be next?"
"The FTC did announce a number of initiatives, such as mandatory caller ID and expanded consumer disclosures, that will help address negative aspects of the telemarketing industry," said Wientzen. "The FTC listened to the industry’s concerns on a number of issues."
Recently announced consumer research indicates that the state and private sector do-not-call programs already in place are working – obviating the need for federal intervention. An audit of The DMA's national Telephone Preference Service (TPS) indicated that the service, available free to consumers, is 80.5 percent effective at decreasing the number of telephone solicitations. This result and the further emergence of caller-ID technology obviate the need for a government-run do-not-call registry.
The DMA reiterated its commitment to its industry-run national do-not-call list, TPS, as the most effective way to manage consumers' telephone marketing preferences. TPS has been extremely successful in reducing the unwanted national telephone solicitations registrants receive because DMA members are required to suppress TPS names against their prospect lists, and because non-members use it widely, as well. As of today, approximately 7.5 million individuals are registered on TPS.
The teleservices industry employs more than four million people and provides product offerings directly to consumers that resulted in $275 billion in sales in 2001.
The DMA is the leading trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with nearly 4,700 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 $2.0 trillion in 2002, including $125.7 billion in catalog sales and $33.7 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.