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B-to-b telemarketing burgeoning

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Miami--B-to-b outbound telemarketing direct order sales are expected to reach $118.8 billion this year, H. Robert Wientzen, president-CEO of the Direct Marketing Association, said in his keynote speech Thursday at the DMA Teleservices Conference.

With an annual growth rate of 8.1%, that total is expected to reach $162.5 billion by 2007.

"B-to-b is a growing and significant portion of outbound teleservices direct order sales," Wientzen said.

Factoring in lead and traffic generation teleservices sales, U.S. sales this year for both b-to-b and b-to-c will be about $765 billion.

Wientzen cautioned, however, that "these numbers are based on economic modeling and not on political reality."

He said that "politically speaking, things are not looking too great for the outbound teleservices industry," based on the close scrutiny of the industry by both the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, and new telemarketing sales rules and regulations being put in place at the federal and state levels. "Telemarketing challenge No. 1 today is the emergence of government-operated do-not-call systems," Wientzen said.

--Carol Krol

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