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Unsolicited Marketing Calls to Cell Phones Are Illegal
WASHINGTON, January 25, 2006 – The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is warning consumers, legislators, and regulators about the re-emergence of bogus e-mails that are causing anxiety about new proposed cell phone number directories. An urban myth has resurfaced in recent days claiming 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, according to a 1991 federal 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 Federal Trade Commission issued its own release on this latest cell phone marketing myth, reiterating that "despite the claims made in e-mails circulating on the Internet, consumers should not be concerned that their cell phone numbers will be released to telemarketers in the near future, and that it is not necessary to register cell phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry to be protected from most telemarketing calls to cell phones." The FTC release is available online athttp://www.ftc.gov/opa/2006/01/dnccellphones.htm.
The 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, 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.
To help our members prevent even inadvertent unsolicited telemarketing calls to cell phones, DMA offers the following:
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.