New List Scrubbing Rule Wasn't Needed, DMA Says

The Federal Trade Commission's decision to require update of telemarketing lists against the no-call registry every 31 days beginning Jan. 1, 2005 will not help consumers and puts an added burden on direct marketers, especially smaller businesses, the DMA said yesterday.

Telemarketers currently must update their lists every three months. The FTC announced the change March 23.

“More than 58 million phone numbers are on lists that have already been downloaded by marketers,” said DMA president/CEO H. Robert Wientzen. “The new rule provides absolutely no additional benefits to those already registered on the list, while being of major consequence to companies who will incur the added costs of scrubbing their lists at least eight times more often annually than they had originally planned for.”

Still, the DMA commended the FTC for not implementing the new rule until Jan. 1 and for selecting 31 days between updates instead of the previously considered 30-day period.

“We are pleased that the FTC opted for a longer implementation timeline by setting Jan. 1, 2005 as the effective date — more than 9 months from today,” Wientzen said. “We are also pleased that FTC solved the problem caused by the fact that the number of days in each month varies. The 31-day timetable is a good compromise–it allows a 30-day schedule as well as a first-day of the month schedule.”

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