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DMA STATEMENT REGARDING STAY RULING BY U.S. COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE 10TH CIRCUIT ON DO-NOT-CALL LIST
NEW YORK, October 8, 2003 – The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today stated that although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit has stayed an earlier ruling which had effectively blocked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) from administering and enforcing its Do-Not-Call Rule, there still remain a broad range of issues and concerns that need to be resolved.
The DMA had already called on all of its members and the entire industry to abide by the wishes of consumers who had placed their household phone numbers on the FTC's list – even though the legality of the registry was cast into doubt by various court rulings, and even though the FTC was forced to temporarily shut down the registry. This call for voluntary compliance was widely heeded and has proven to be effective.
In a DMA commissioned poll over the weekend of October 3-5, 43 percent of American households reported not receiving any telephone marketing calls during the period of October 1–5. In addition, approximately 72 percent of American households reported that having registered for the list was either "effective" or "very effective" in reducing calls.
The reduction in calls occurred despite a court order that blocked the government from being able to enforce its do-not-call rules, and further supports The DMA’s deeply held belief that industry self-regulation continues to be an effective and legal means to ensuring that consumers' preferences are honored.
The events of the past few weeks have shed light on some serious problems with the government's implementation of a National Do Not Call Registry, which The DMA has consistently pointed out. These include:
· The list suffers from a lack of proper authentication procedures built into the Internet registration process;
· The government registry does not serve as a one-stop shop for consumers and marketers because dozens of state lists exist as well;
· The high cost of the government's list, at over $7,300 annually for the nationwide list, is an unreasonable and additional compliance challenge for businesses.
The DMA continues to believe that it is not the proper role of government to create and implement a national do-not-call list.
The DMA is considering all options in light of the court of appeals decision to handle this case in a truly expedited manner. Oral arguments are scheduled for November 10, 2003.
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 is www.the-dma.org, and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org.