‘Do Not Call’ List: US Telemarketers Go to Law

29 July 2003

Stateside telemarketers have made good their threat to fight the Federal Communications Commission’s national ‘do not call’ list in the United States Court of Appeals.

The move will not be popular with Joe Public. After little more than two months, some seventeen million American homes have already signed up to the list which is due to bite on October 3.

The petition lodged Monday by the American Teleservices Association avers that the FCC is “adopting regulations that mirror the Federal Trade Commission’s rules creating a national ‘do not call’ list governing telemarketing practices”. It seeks to force the FCC to issue an expedited stay to block enforcement of the new rules until after their review by the court.

This reference to the FTC’s rules relates to a suit filed in a Colorado federal court by the ATA against the FTC in January.

Complains ATA executive director Tim Searcy: “This truly is a case of regulatory overkill. Unfortunately, the FCC ignored its obligations under the federal law and the Constitution to carefully balance the privacy interests of consumers with the First Amendment rights of legitimate telemarketers.”

Searcy estimates that the list, if implemented will cost the US economy “up to two million jobs in an industry that produces over $660 billion of sales per year”.

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