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DMA COMMENDS FTC ON DO NOT CALL ENFORCEMENT
WASHINGTON, December 13, 2005 -The National Do Not Call Registry, in effect since October 2003, has allowed millions of Americans to express their preferences about receiving telephone solicitations. Opinion polls have shown that an overwhelming majority of consumers who have signed up for the list believe that it is working and that they are receiving significantly fewer telemarketing calls. The FTC has consistently reported a high rate of compliance among marketers.
Strong enforcement against companies that do not comply with Do Not Call rules is an important part of what makes the program successful. The DMA supports today's actions by the FTC and remains committed to working cooperatively with the FTC to ensure that DMA member companies continue to comply with the law and respect consumers' rights.
The complaint named DirecTV, five firms that market on the company's behalf and six principals of those marketing firms. Settlement agreements have already been reached with DirectTV and two of the telemarketing firms. None of the companies involved are members of the Direct Marketing Association, which requires its members to adhere to ethical guidelines above and beyond the legal obligations for responsible marketing.
"Playing by the rules means obeying both the letter and the spirit of the law," said Patricia Kachura, DMA's senior vice president for ethics and consumer affairs. "Those few companies that do not respect consumers' wishes reflect badly on the image of the industry as a whole."
Echoing statements from FTC chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras that "sellers are on the hook for calls placed on their behalf," Kachura added that today's actions should serve as a cautionary tale for companies. "When you hire someone to sell on your behalf, you are trusting those companies with your own corporate brand and reputation," said Kachura. "Companies need to be aware of what is happening with partners, vendors and other suppliers of marketing services, and make sure they are conducting their business in an ethical and legal manner."
About the DMA
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of business and nonprofit organizations using and supporting direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates industry standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the entire direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today has more than 4,800 corporate, affiliate, and chapter members from the US and 46 other nations, including 55 companies listed on the Fortune 100.
In 2005, companies will spend more than $161 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures are expected to generate $1.85 trillion in increased sales in 2005, or 7% of the $26 trillion in total sales in the US economy (which includes intermediate sales). All together, direct marketing will account for 10.3% of total US GDP in 2005.
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.