Specifically, the DMA opposes the FTC's proposal to create a national list to restrict telephone solicitations to consumers. The DMA pointed out that the private sector has been self-regulating the industry since 1985 through the DMA's Telephone Preference Service, or TPS, a voluntary registry for direct marketers.
TPS covers about 80% of the industry. By contrast, the FTC's proposed do-not-call list would cover less than 50% of telemarketing calls and would not apply to intrastate calls.
"At best the FTC would provide a marginal incremental benefit at huge taxpayer expense," said H. Robert Wientzen, president-CEO of the DMA. He added that the proposed changes might have adverse effects on the nation's economy.
In 2001, the U.S. telemarketing industry directly and indirectly employed more than 6 million people, while 185 million customers purchased $661 billion in goods and services, or 6% of the gross domestic product.