Britain’s Direct Marketing Association is fighting new government proposals to restrict business-to-business telemarketing.

The Department of Trade & Industry plans to allow companies to register with the Telephone Preference Service, meaning they could opt out of receiving telemarketing calls in the same way consumers can. The proposal is part of the DTI’s draft regulations to implement the European Union Privacy & Electronic Communications Directive.

According to the DMA, the industry “has voiced overwhelming opposition” to the idea, as it could have a “devastating” effect on business-to-business marketing. It will hit small businesses especially hard – the lobby group cites research that shows 44% of small and medium-sized enterprises use telemarketing to expand their business.

The DMA argues that businesses expect to deal with sales calls as part of business life. It also points to the additional cost of checking phone lists and updating records to comply with the TPS, and highlights practical problems such as which of a company’s manifold phone numbers to register.

The Association has challenged the DTI to conduct a full cost–benefit analysis and prove that the proposal would be advantageous.

Data sourced from: Direct Marketing Association; additional content by WARC staff