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UNSOLICITED MARKETING CALLS TO CELL PHONES ARE ILLEGAL- WITH OR WITHOUT A CELL PHONE DIRECTORY
UNSOLICITED MARKETING CALLS TO CELL PHONES ARE ILLEGAL-WITH OR WITHOUT A CELL PHONE DIRECTORY
NEW YORK, December 10, 2004 -The Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today issued a statement aimed at consumers, legislators, and regulators to alert them that a bogus e-mail is causing anxiety about new proposed cell phone number directories.
An urban myth in the making has been churned up by e-mails circulating widely across the United States saying that proposed directories of cell phone numbers are being compiled for use by telemarketers.
Although there may be efforts to compile cell phone directories by phone companies, such directories MAY NOT BE USED FOR UNSOLICITED TELEPHONE MARKETING CALLS, because a 1991 federal law prohibits that.
This law, the 1991 Telemarketing Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), makes it illegal for solicitation calls to be made to wireless phone numbers without clear permission from the individual to whom a number has been assigned.
The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and its members continue to support vigorous enforcement of the absolute restriction on unsolicited calls to cell phone numbers for marketing purposes and urge federal and state authorities to prosecute those who may engage in this illegal activity.
Moreover, The DMA continues to work aggressively with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect against cell phone solicitations by ensuring that marketers understand and comply fully with the law.
In this regard, The DMA has instituted the following programs designed specifically to prevent even inadvertent unsolicited telemarketing calls to cell phones:
· The Wireless Block Identifier Service identifies for the marketing community those numbers that have been assigned as cell phone numbers - numbers they may not call without express permission from the holder of a number;
· The Wireless Ported Number File identifies land-based phone numbers that have been ported to cell phone numbers - new numbers which also fall under the protections of the 1991 law.
About The DMA
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading trade association for businesses and organizations interested in direct, interactive, and database marketing, which last year generated more than $1.7 trillion in US sales, including $134 billion in catalog sales and $41 billion in Web-driven sales. In addition to catalogs and the Web, DMA members employ a wide variety of marketing media, including mail, e-mail, telephone, newspapers and magazines, interactive television, and radio, among others. Founded in 1917, The DMA today has more than 5,200 corporate, affiliate, and chapter members from the US and 44 other nations. Reflecting the significant and growing role that direct and interactive marketing plays in today's advertising mix, The DMA's membership represents marketers from every business segment, including catalogers, Internet retailers, retail stores, nonprofit organizations, advertising agencies, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, industrial manufacturers, and a host of other vertical segments, as well as the service industries that support marketers.
Louis Mastria 212.790.1529 Lmastria@the-dma.org
Laura Colona 212.790.1732 Lcolona@the-dma.org