Kansas Names DNC List Provider

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The Kansas Attorney General's Office has picked a database vendor to maintain its state do-not-call list, the creation of which has been delayed since July after talks with the Direct Marketing Association for the job broke down.

With the hiring of GovConnect Inc., announced yesterday, the state plans to publish a DNC list for the first time Oct. 1. Enforcement begins Nov. 1.

The list statute passed by state lawmakers in May specifies that the DMA should maintain the Kansas list, but allows the attorney general to hire a different contractor if negotiations with the DMA failed. Talks with the DMA went past the July 1 effective date of the law, but fell apart, said Mark Ohlemeier, spokesman for Kansas attorney general Carla Stovall.

The main sticking point was a provision in the law that would have guaranteed that anyone who registered 30 days before the publication of the DNC list would be included, Ohlemeier said. The DMA told state officials that it could honor this guarantee for those who sent registration requests by mail to a special post office box for the Kansas DNC list, but not for Kansans who sent their registration information to a Farmingdale, NY, address used for the Telephone Preference Service, a private DNC list maintained by the DMA for the use of its members.

The DMA's inability to meet this requirement left Stovall with no choice but to seek another vendor, Ohlemeier said.

"The attorney general said she didn't have any room to negotiate with them," he said. "That's what the law says."

Kansas began accepting registration to the list yesterday. Since the law was enacted, many Kansas consumers have called the attorney general's office to ask when the list would become effective, Ohlemeier said.

"Consumers want it," he said. "They've wanted it for a long time."

According to the Kansas Attorney General's Office, GovConnect is able to offer the list to telemarketers for cheaper than the flat $465 fee that the DMA would have charged. The list will be available via e-mail for $359 and on CD for $399, and specific area codes will be available via e-mail for $149 and on CD for $189.

Telemarketers can begin subscribing to the list Aug. 19.

A DMA spokeswoman said yesterday that no association officials were available to comment on the issue. In the week before the attorney general's announcement of a new vendor, DMA spokesman Lou Mastria had said the association was open to discussion with Kansas on the running of the state's DNC list.

"We talk to any state that has a do-not-call list," Mastria said. "It's easier both on consumers and on the marketer."

Though the Kansas deal fell through, the DMA recently picked up a contract to run Pennsylvania's DNC list, which launched Aug. 6. About 200,000 consumers registered for the list on the first day it was available, swamping a toll-free registration hotline and a Web site set up by the state to make signing up for the list convenient.

The DMA also maintains DNC lists in Maine, Connecticut and Wyoming.

GovConnect provides back-end services for government organizations.


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