DMA BEGINS ATTACK ON FTC TELEMARKETER RULES

New Consumer Protection Laws to Be Unveiled Wednesday

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- Even before the full details are known, the Direct Marketers Assocation today began attacking the telemarketing "do not call" rules that are scheduled to be unveiled by the Federal Trade Commission tomorrow.

The purpose of the new measures, according to a January 2002 FTC statement, is to "protect consumers from unwanted and late-night telemarketing calls."

More than 20 states already have "do not call" laws that require marketers to halt unsolicited phone calls to consumers who sign up for such exclusions. The DMA is fearful that a national law and the national publicity it generates would encourage large numbers of other consumers to also sign up to be excluded from telemarketer call lists.

Specifics to come
While the general scope of the FTC's new rules are already known, important specifics about the laws will not be detailed until tomorrow.

Nevertheless, the DMA today characterized the rules as probably "unlawful" and said it "intends to pursue all legal and equitable courses of action to protect the American teleservices industry."

It is not clear if the DMA plans to go to court to block the rules or if it will also try to get the rules overturned in Congress.

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