FTC's Vladeck details updated telemarketing rules

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Earlier this week, a marketer and its agency settled a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding telemarketing calls. In reporting on the story, a lawyer at the FTC told me these rules "had been on the books" for a while, so marketers should know better.

True, but understanding the minutiae of a government rule can be challenging. To clear things up, David Vladeck, director of the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection, gave a speech at the American Teleservices Association's Washington conference to better explain recent amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rules.

"The rule making is clear but the interpretation is often left to the industry," notes Tim Searcy, executive director of the American Teleservices Association. "They then use a case to show where the enforcement will be."

You can read the full text of Vladeck's speech here, where he also outlines priorities for the federal agency, including "negative option marketing" and consumer privacy as it relates to behavioral advertising.

The FTC reported in January 2010 that it has brought 18 "enforcement actions against telemarketers for unlawfully using pre-recorded mass 'robocalls,'" since 2003.

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