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THE DMA RESPONDS TO FCC'S TELESERVICES ANNOUNCEMENT
NEW YORK, June 26, 2003 Ė The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today expressed its support for the Federal Communications Commissionís (FCC) plan to create a universal do-not-call registry that will include all state lists for interstate calls and will correct some of the problems attendant to the Federal Trade Commissionís (FTC) no-call program.
Todayís announcement effectively creates a one-stop-shop do-not-call list that can be fairly applied across all industries and make it easy for consumers and marketers alike to use the no-call list. The FCC is creating, in effect, a common standard for all telephone marketing in the U.S.
"The DMA supports a national do-not-call program that will make it easy for both consumers who want to opt out of receiving telephone solicitations, and for marketers who need to clean their lists," said H. Robert Wientzen, president and CEO, The DMA. "We are pleased that the FCC has taken this decisive action towards that end."
"We hope that the national do-not-call program announced today by the FCC will live up to the high expectations that consumers have for the well-publicized FTC list," Wientzen added. "Certainly, todayís move will eliminate many headaches in the marketing community by making compliance with do-not-call laws a much simpler process."
"The DMA looks forward to working closely with the FCC and the FTC to educate marketers and consumers about the new program," said Wientzen. "We will protect the integrity of the American teleservices industry, which generated over $700 billion last year for the U.S. economy, by respecting consumer preferences."
The DMA also applauded the FCC for mandating the use of caller identification by telemarketers once it becomes technologically feasible. In addition, The DMA is pleased that the FCC today has effectively created a national standard for the use of predictive dialers.
The DMA is concerned, however, about the possibility that marketers will have to pay the high cost of purchasing the FTC list, which is over $7,000 annually. The DMAís own do-not-call list, which DMA members are required to use as a condition of membership, costs only $700 dollars per year, and is operated on a break-even basis.
Moreover, in order to encourage employment of The DMAís Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the Association permits teleservices bureaus to purchase the TPS file once a year and use it for all of their customersí telemarketing campaigns. Alarmingly, under the FTC program, teleservices bureaus will be required to purchase the list separately for each of their customers. The DMA looks forward to working with both the FCC and the FTC to develop a more reasonable payment system.
The DMA is also concerned about the authentication process for registering phone numbers with the FTC. Currently, the online registration process isnít secure enough to ensure that individuals will in fact register their own numbers.
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 are projected to have surpassed $2 trillion in 2002, including $126 billion in catalog sales and $34 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.