US telephone marketers are warning their industry will be shattered by the success of the new national do-not-call scheme.

Since the register’s launch less than two weeks ago [WAMN: 30-Jun-03], over 17 million Americans have signed up. The Federal Trade Commission predicts that 60m phone numbers will have been added by the end of the year.

Such success will devastate the telemarketing industry, according to America’s Direct Marketing Association, a longstanding opponent of the scheme.

The DMA believes the register – which comes into force from October 1 – could single-handedly halve the $100 billion (€88bn; £61bn) in annual sales generated by telemarketing, threatening up to two million jobs (from a total of just over four million).

DMA spokesman Louis Mastria added that telemarketers also fear the hype surrounding the list: “Clearly the attendant publicity concerns us because people think the government is criminalising the industry.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff