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DMA STATEMENT: The DMA Releases Guidance to List Industry on FTC Legal Interpretation
The DMA Releases Guidance to List Industry on FTC Legal Interpretation
Earlier this month, The DMA met with FTC staff to clarify the scope of responsibility for list managers in the wake of the August settlement actions and to understand the manner in which the agency would implement its rules in cases similar to those settlements. This meeting helped DMA develop today's guidance for the industry.
The DMA also met with the FTC to express its concerns that the settlements reached could have been interpreted to require list management companies to become absolute guarantors for advertisers using marketing lists. That interpretation could have been severely damaging for many legitimate businesses.
The results of the meeting reassured The DMA that the FTC does not expect those in the list industry to guarantee every ad.
The DMA-FTC meeting also helped the association develop easy-to-implement industry guidance about what responsibilities list managers do have under the FTC's current interpretation of federal law.
The FTC’s position is clear: Those who provide lists for telemarketing share at least some responsibility for knowing what promotion will be communicated to those lists and especially for knowing when the script or promotion, on its face, violates the TSR.
The DMA will now focus its efforts on educating its members about the FTC's interpretation, as exemplified by the settlements reached in August with list managers. The DMA also notes that others within the list community should review their practices and compliance procedures to avoid potential legal exposure.