FTC Extends DNC Comment Period Due to Large Response

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The Federal Trade Commission has voted to extend the deadline for written public comments on the proposed national do-not-call list and other changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule to April 15.

The original deadline for written comments had been March 29. However, several individuals and organizations requested additional time, the FTC said.

"There's been a tremendous amount of public comment," said FTC spokesman Mitchell Katz. "Based on the number of comments, there's a belief that people may need more time to get in their comments, and we're doing that."

The FTC has already received more than 21,000 comments on the national DNC list and the proposed rule changes via e-mail, according to the FTC. The messages, the majority of which have come from members of the public in support of the national DNC list, have been posted online in the DNC section of the FTC's Web site, www.ftc.gov.

According to the FTC, the request for comments on the national DNC list has generated the second highest response of any issue put forth by the agency. Only smokeless tobacco, a subject on which the FTC received more than 50,000 comments in the early 1990s, generated more, the FTC said.

Matt Mattingley, legislative affairs director for the American Teleservices Association, said his organization had not requested an extension, and he was unaware of any requests coming from the Direct Marketing Association or the Electronic Retailing Association. All three had been prepared to submit comments by the original deadline, he said.

"I don't know that we benefit at all from having another two weeks," Mattingley said. "The usual rationale for requesting an extension is if you're not ready. We're not in that situation. The other associations we've talked to are likewise."


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