The DMA alleges in the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City, Okla., that the Federal Trade Commission's plan violates marketers' free-speech protections under the First Amendment. Four telemarketing companies joined the DMA in the lawsuit: U.S. Security, Chartered Benefit Services Inc., Global Contact Services and Infocision Management Corp.
DMA President-CEO H. Robert Wientzen said the FTC, which is considering the government-run do-not-call list to stop unwanted telemarketing calls, has "clearly overreached and acted prematurely" in singling out telemarketing from other advertising media.
The DMA manages an existing national do-not-call list, called the Telephone Preference Service. The Federal Communications Commission is simultaneously working on its own do-not-call proposal.
Companies sold $275 billion in products and services through telemarketing in 2001.
If Congress approves funding for the do-not-call registry, it will be implemented about seven months later, according to the FTC.