DMA sues to block 'do-not-call' proposal

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New York--The Direct Marketing Association Wednesday filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the telemarketing industry to block the proposed federal "do-not-call" list.

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.

--Carol Krol

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