Consumer Group: Canadians Want Telemarketing Protection

A consumer advocacy group in favor of a national do-not-call list in Canada cited a study last week showing that a majority of Canadians want greater protection from telemarketing calls.

The Ottawa-based Public Interest Advocacy Group, in a report to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission on Aug.9, said that more than 60 percent of those surveyed in a poll would like to stop all telemarketing calls to their homes.

Ekos Research Associates, Ottawa, which surveyed 1,000 Canadian consumers, completed the study.

The Public Interest Advocacy Group presented the poll as part of the commission's ongoing review of Canada's telemarketing regulations. Part of the review includes consideration of a national do-not-call list.

The Canadian Marketing Association keeps a do-not-call registry that its members are required to use, similar to the Direct Marketing Association's Telephone Preference Service. However, the Public Interest Advocacy Group has criticized the CMA's registry as ineffective.

Teleservices is a growing industry in Canada, with many American firms locating there because of the abundant labor pool in some regions. According to the CMA, telemarketing employed 270,000 people in Canada in 2000 and generated $16 billion in sales, a figure that is expected to grow to $24.3 billion by 2005.

In a statement to the commission in April, the CMA said it supported a Canadian national DNC list in principle but had reservations about the funding and implementation of such an undertaking.

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