DMA Opposes National DNC Fee for Marketers

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The Direct Marketing Association yesterday criticized the Federal Trade Commission's proposal that telemarketers pay fees to fund the national do-not-call list, saying such fees would create a burden for telemarketers who wish to obey the law.

Proposing such a fee shows that the FTC has not worked out all the details of establishing a national DNC list, Jerry Cerasale, DMA senior vice president for government affairs, said in a statement.

"This poorly-thought-out proposal is nothing more than a tax on American business, which will only be passed on to consumers," Cerasale said. "The FTC is simply creating a new bureaucracy on the backs of the consuming public."

Last week, the FTC officially proposed that telemarketers pay $3 million of the estimated $5 million the national DNC list is expected to cost in its first year. The FTC had said telemarketer fees were the most likely source of funding when it first announced the list in January.

Under the FTC's fee proposal, telemarketers would pay an annual fee for portions of the national DNC list organized by area code. A single area code would cost up to $12, but telemarketers could receive up to five area codes at no charge.

For purposes of payment, the FTC would divide the year into two periods. Those telemarketers who buy portions of the list for use in the second half of the year only would pay $6 per area code, half the full rate.

The cost of buying all area codes, of which there are about 250, would be capped at $3,000. The FTC estimates that about 3,000 telemarketers would pay fees for use of the national DNC list.

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