FTC Begins Hearings Into US-Wide ‘Do Not Call’ Register

07 June 2002

America’s Federal Trade Commission has launched a three-day hearing into the national ‘do not call’ consumer register for telemarketers it proposed earlier this year [WAMN: 23-Jan-02].

The FTC-maintained list of numbers, which will affect commercial marketers and telemarketers calling on behalf of non-profit organisations, would allow consumers to stop most marketing calls, although they would be able to choose firms and cause-marketers whose messages they wanted to hear.

Topics addressed on the first day were mostly about the administration of the register – how it would affect state initiatives; whether consumers could enter other people’s names onto it; whether it should apply when a company already has a relationship with a consumer – rather than the substantive rights and wrongs of the list itself.

However, some groups complain that the register would raise costs, unfairly target one sector of commerce and restrict unconstitutionally the fund-raising of non-profit organisations.

Further opposition comes from a mélange of conservative pressure groups, such as the Republican National Committee and the American Conservative Union, which denounced the proposed register in a letter to President Bush as “an unnecessary expansion of government regulation that would do little to achieve its purported goal while harming consumers, non-profits, businesses…and jobs.”

Data sourced from: AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff