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States Urge Consumers to Fight Preemption

State officials in Indiana and Wisconsin this week encouraged consumers to file comments with the Federal Communications Commission opposing preemption of their state no-call laws.

Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle told residents to go online to register their opposition to federal preemption of the state laws. Trade groups have asked the FCC to preempt no-call laws in Indiana, Wisconsin and elsewhere on the grounds that they conflict with federal law.

Doyle and Carter made links available on state Web sites to contact the FCC. The public comment period ends Feb. 2.

The FCC has said that state no-call laws regulating interstate telemarketing calls almost certainly are preempted if they differ from federal law. However, laws in many states contain more restrictions than federal law.

In Indiana and Wisconsin, the Consumer Bankers Association is asking the FCC to impose the federal exemption for existing business relationships — defined as customers who made a purchase in the past 18 months and those who made an inquiry in the past three months — from the no-call list. Wisconsin allows only one call to existing customers, while Indiana allows calls to customers only if they have given “express permission.”

Florida's no-call rules also are under challenge. In addition, the American Teleservices Association has challenged the no-call law in New Jersey.

Scott Hovanyetz covers telemarketing, production and printing and direct response TV marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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