Recent News Demonstrates Robocalling Is on Regulators' Radar6 Mar, 2012 By: Jeffrey D. Knowles, Mikhia E. Hawkins
On Feb. 15, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved significant changes to its rules regarding telemarketing calls. Among the changes was an update of the agency’s rules governing telemarketing “robocalls” – marketing phone calls that make use of an auto-dialer or artificial or prerecorded voice.
Both the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have regulatory enforcement authority over marketing telephone calls made to consumers. The FCC’s changes largely harmonize its telemarketing rules, which are enforced under authority granted by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), with the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR). The TSR requires, among other things, that marketers secure prior express written consent for all robocalls to wireless numbers and residential landlines, regardless of whether the calls are to consumers with whom the marketer has a business relationship. It also requires that marketers make automated “opt-out” mechanisms available to consumers that enable them to opt out of receiving future prerecorded calls from the marketer.
In addition, the FCC revised its rules to adopt a “per-calling-campaign” standard for measuring the maximum percentage of live telemarketing sales calls that a telemarketer may lawfully drop or abandon because of the use of autodialing software or other equipment. The agency had previously used a 30-day average of all a marketer’s calls to calculate the marketer’s abandon rate.
Demonstrating that the FTC is also paying attention to robocallers’ practices, the agency announced two settlements with marketers of robocalling technology on February 24. The two companies allegedly marketed Web-based self-service robocall platforms to businesses that enabled the services’ users to make prerecorded sales calls by uploading a recorded message and a list of telephone numbers. The Web-based service would then dial each uploaded phone number and play the uploaded prerecorded message.
The FTC alleged that the robocall service companies violated federal telemarketing laws by enabling telemarketing campaigns that unlawfully called numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry, delivered prerecorded calls without complying with federal requirements for such calls, abandoned calls by playing prerecorded messages after call recipients answered the calls, and failed to disclose the caller’s identity during the calls. The companies’ robocall services allegedly used automated dialing equipment to deliver prerecorded messages.
The two settlements with the robocall self-service companies require that the businesses pay $10,000 to the FTC, with suspended civil penalty judgments of $2 million and $1 million, respectively. Additionally, the settlements prohibit the businesses from violating federal telemarketing laws in the future.
The changes to the FCC’s rules, as well as the recent FTC settlements, demonstrate that regulators are paying attention to the robocalling space. For marketers using robocalls, whether for lead generation, upselling existing clients, or any other reason, it is critical that they understand the regulations governing robocall-based marketing and develop best practices to ensure compliance with the state and federal rules regulating telemarketing.
Jeffrey D. Knowles is a partner at Venable LLP and chair of the firm’s Advertising, Marketing and New Media Group. Mikhia E. Hawkins is an attorney at Venable LLP. They can be reached at (202) 344-4000, or at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
December 3, 2013 | Article | By William I. Rothbard
In line with the law in most states and best practice in the industry, most direct response... more>>
December 3, 2013 | Article | By Arthur Yoon, Jeffrey Richter
Trademark infringement and false advertising claims under the Lanham Act, also commonly referred to... more>>
December 3, 2013 | Article | By Marc Roth
It is often said that as California does, the rest of the country follows. Nowhere is this truer... more>>
November 5, 2013 | Article | By Jeffrey Richter, John Waller
In 1990, the U.S. Congress amended the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act (FDCA) by passing the Nutrition... more>>
November 5, 2013 | Article | By Gregory J. Sater
A class action against Skype Inc. that had been dismissed previously by a trial judge has been... more>>
November 1, 2013 | Article | By Thomas Haire
In May, we turned the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Spotlight on the InterMedia Group... more>>
October 1, 2013 | Article | By Thomas Haire
In March, we turned the Direct Response Marketing Alliance (DRMA) Spotlight on Cannella Response... more>>
September 1, 2013 | Article | By Thomas Haire
“This is not just about direct response,” says Monica C. Smith, founder and CEO of Parsippany,... more>>
May 1, 2013 | Article | By Thomas Haire
It’s been a challenging year for the direct response business, but the team at the Inter/Media... more>>
April 1, 2013 | Article | By Thomas Haire
“We strive to bring the highest levels of profitability to our clients, while simultaneously... more>>
April 29, 2014 | Event
Join 3,000 direct response decision makers at the industry’s foremost event. Year after year,... more>>
March 17, 2014 | Event
The DRMA's Chicago Networking Party takes place during the International Home + Housewares Show in... more>>
September 12, 2013 | File
Jordan Whitney September 2013 Greensheet more>>
September 11, 2013 | File
White paper: Brandlive - Rockwell Invests in Interactive Video more>>
August 22, 2013 | File
DRMA White Papers and Case Studies wufoo header more>>
June 18, 2013 | File
Case Study: Trust Guard - Stacks and Stacks more>>
April 17, 2012 | File
Rockwell Tools designs and manufactures a full line of corded and cordless power tools and... more>>
|Marketing Manager - St. Louis Symphony - St. Louis, Missouri|
|POSITION SUMMARYThe Marketing Manager is a full-time Marketing staff position responsible for direct response marketing, with a primary focus on subscription sales and customer loyalty and retention strategies. ...|
|Senior VP Business Development - Confidential - California|
|Senior Vice President of Business Developmentrequired for company located in Southern California. Prior experience and success in Direct Response sales management a must. Salary and commission based on ...|
|Business Systems Analyst (7584U) #16980 - UC Berkeley - California|United States|
|Job Requisition Number: 16980. The Direct Response Marketing Department manages the Annual Giving Services Program that provides expert annual fund services to campus units through telefundraising, direct ...|
|Assistant Director, Direct Response Marketing (7552U) #16979 - UC Berkeley - California|United States|
|Job Requisition Number: 16979. The Direct Response Marketing Department manages the Annual Giving Services Program that provides expert annual fund services to campus units through telefundraising, direct ...|
|Membership Forecasting Manager - AARP - Washington, Dist. Columbia|
|The Membership Integrated Value Group plays an integral role in helping AARP become a more relevant and efficient organization that successfully addresses the value proposition promise and develops and ...|