Use of America’s national ‘do not call’ telemarketing database will become mandatory on October 1 2003, the Federal Trade Commission announced Tuesday.

The scheme, originally scheduled for introduction on March 31, will invite consumer registrations as of July while telemarketers will be able to access the database from September. Initially, consumer registration will be solely via the internet, although phone-in registration will be introduced at a later date.

Marketers will be required to run their call-lists against the FTC database every ninety days to ensure synchronization. Unsolicited calls to anyone whose name is on the list could result in the offender being fined up to $11,000 (€10,341; £7,002) for each transgression.

Although consumer groups are over the moon at the legislation, marketing trade bodies are decidedly less enthused. Three separate lawsuits have so far been slapped on the FTC, respectively by the Direct Marketing Association, the American Teleservices Association and Stonebridge Insurance – all arguing that the rules of the scheme are unconstitutional and that the commission has acted beyond its authority.

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff