Letter: Unwelcome Calls and Blatantly Fraudulent E-Mails Have No Place in Our Society

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I am writing to comment on Tad Clarke's editorial insulting the ads promoting the national do-not-call list ("FTC Ads Dial the Wrong Number," July 7). I believe that the ads are more in touch with American sentiment than some of your recent editorials. Unwelcome phone calls and blatantly fraudulent e-mails have no place in our society, despite your continuous efforts to protect them.

There is a time and place for telemarketing. However, it should be limited to business hours and directed to those who have given you permission to contact them by filling out a response card or Web form. Calling numbers at random to hawk products that people don't want is the opposite of what direct marketing is supposed to do. It is a medium for contacting the most qualified leads and not wasting time with those who have no interest whatsoever.

As for your vision of family life, I make an effort to read to my daughter or otherwise play with her every evening after work. Your office dads who "couldn't recall the last time they had read to their children" need to rethink the balance between work and family. I believe that you are indeed the one taking a narrow view on this issue, not the ad agencies who seem to be more in touch with what motivates most people to take their names off telemarketing lists.

It is time for the direct marketing industry to get back to the basics; most importantly, sending offers to only the most qualified individuals in order to maximize response and return on investment. Phoning and sending e-mail messages should be reserved for follow-ups and maintaining the relationship with existing customers, not as mass media to try to find new customers. That goes against the very principles of direct marketing.

Robert Cohrs, Marketing manager, College for Financial Planning, Greenwood Village, CO



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