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DMA Pleased With Proposed Change to Telemarketing Rule
Washington, DC, October 3, 2006 — The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it is proposing amendments to the call abandonment provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. The proposals, which have been approved for publication in the Federal Register, come in response to several petitions filed with the FTC by the Direct Marketing Association and other organizations.
In May 2004, DMA filed a petition with the FTC regarding the safe harbor provisions for abandoned calls made by telemarketers using predictive dialers. Marketers have expressed frustration with differing provisions in Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission rules.
The proposed change announced by the FTC today would redefine the method for measuring the maximum allowable call abandonment rate from “3% per day per calling campaign” to “3% per 30-day period per calling campaign.”
“We are pleased that FTC has taken this step to provide clarity and certainty for marketers,” said Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s Senior Vice President for Government Affairs. “Our members want to follow the rules, and this change would not only make things clearer, it would make it much easier for organizations with small, focused campaigns to remain in compliance.”
The forthcoming notice also will deny a petition submitted by the Voice Mail Broadcasting Corporation (VMBC) which urged the Commission to allow telemarketing calls that deliver pre-recorded messages to consumers with whom the seller has an established business relationship. In addition, the Commission is seeking comment on a new proposal that would prohibit the use of prerecorded messages in telemarketing calls answered in person by a consumer.
While not involved in either of these petitions, DMA hopes that any final rule changes would offer clarity and consistency for marketers seeking to comply with FTC and FCC rules. In general, DMA supports the rights of marketers to contact consumers and businesses which whom they have an existing business relationship.
Once published, the Federal Register notice will solicit comments on the proposal. Comments will be accepted until November 6, 2006. (FTC File No. R411001; the staff contact is Allen While, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3122.). More information is available online at www.ftc.gov.
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The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of business and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel 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 50 other nations, including 54 companies listed on the Fortune 100.
In 2005, companies spent an estimated $161 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated an estimated $1.85 trillion in increased sales in 2005, or 7 percent of the $26 trillion in total sales in the US economy (which includes intermediate sales). All together, direct marketing accounted for 10.3 percent of total US GDP in 2005.
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.