FEDMA Fears Teleservices Restrictions in Europe

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The Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing will work to prevent teleservices restrictions from being adopted in Europe, the group's director general, Alastair Tempest, said yesterday.

The statement came at a meeting of FEDMA's Council for Contact Centres/Teleservices. Issues discussed included the introduction of the federal no-call registry in the United States.

Charles Prescott, the Direct Marketing Association's vice president of international business development and government affairs, attended the meeting and said that the call center business in the United States "is in deep crisis" because of the no-call rule.

The council also heard that the number of households registering in the UK Telephone Preference Service has risen over the past few months.

"There is a clear and serious threat that the U.S. example will encourage similar regulations in Europe," Tempest said. "It is FEDMA's primary task to protect the European interactive and direct marketing sector. We have agreed to review our 1997 teleservices guidelines, study how to deal with problems with predictive dialers and, most importantly, provide a platform for all the players -- the contact/call centers, the users and the telecos -- to debate and find proactive solutions to prevent restrictions being adopted in Europe."

The council plans to meet again in early 2004.

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