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FTC plans do-not-call list

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Washington, D.C.--The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced plans to implement a federal do-not-call list that it says will protect consumers and businesses from unsolicited telemarketing calls.

The Direct Marketing Association released a statement calling the proposal "unnecessary, ill-timed and potentially unlawful." It said the FTC's plan may violate constitutional free-speech protections.

In addition, the DMA called the FTC's actions premature, saying the Federal Communications Commission is reviewing a similar plan. Twenty-eight states currently have a do-not-call registry.

"We will thoroughly review the final ruling by the FTC with the intention to pursue all legal and equitable courses of action to protect the American teleservices industry," said H. Robert Wientzen, president-CEO of the DMA, in a statement.

Despite its bad reputation, outbound telemarketing generated $296 billion in sales of goods and services in 2001, and the industry employs 4.1 million people, according to the DMA.

The Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association Wednesday applauded the FTC's decision not to implement a proposal that would make the b-to-b telemarketing of Internet and Web services, including Yellow Pages advertising, more difficult.

According to the YPIMA, the FTC was considering a proposal that would have made the telemarketing of these services to businesses fall under the Telemarketing Sales Rule, imposing significant new requirements on telephone solicitations for online directory advertising.

--Carol Krol

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