National DNC Debate Could End in Court, ATA Warns

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The American Teleservices Association expressed "concern" yesterday that telemarketers are headed for a court battle with the Federal Trade Commission over the national do-not-call list and other proposed changes to the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

The ATA does not wish the ongoing debate about proposed restrictions on the industry to end in court, said Kevin Brosnahan, ATA spokesman. However, the ATA is polling its members about what actions they want the organization to take and is keeping all of its options open, he said.

"We want to work with the FTC as much as possible," Brosnahan said. "We hope there are more hearings on issues that were not fully covered."

During a hearing in Washington June 5-7 over the proposed changes, the FTC's positions on telemarketing became increasingly hard-line as the discussion went forward, the ATA said.

The ATA noted that Eileen Harrington, FTC associate director for marketing practices, at one point felt compelled to deny rumors that a decision on the national DNC list had already been made. The FTC should hold more hearings to allow for a full discussion of the proposed rule changes, the ATA said.

"It appears that the FTC fully intends to implement a national do-not-call list, regardless of what it will do to our industry," ATA executive director Jason Clawson said in a statement

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