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Note:This website is where you can find advertising law information based on archived news briefs from past issues of Advertising Compliance Service. These archived advertising law-related news briefs were published in Advertising Compliance Service in February 2004.





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On February 13, 2004, FTC released Do Not Call registration and complaint figures for 2003. These figures show fewer than 45 companies received over 100 consumer complaints. Consumers registered over 55 million numbers through 2003, but reported only 150,000 possible violations.

"The telemarketing industry has shown exceptional compliance with the National Do Not Call Registry." So said Timothy J. Muris, FTC Chairman. "The Do Not Call program has been highly successful in protecting consumers' privacy. While we appreciate the high rate of compliance, we are taking a hard look at the top violators. Assuring compliance with the Registry remains a high priority for the Commission."

The effectiveness of the Do Not Call Registry was reinforced by a Harris Interactive® survey released February 13, 2004 indicating that over half of all U.S. adults (57%) say they've signed up for the registry. Ninety-two percent (92%) of those who signed up report receiving fewer telemarketing calls, and 25% of those registered say they received no telemarketing calls since signing up.

(FTC Release, February 13, 2004.)


FTC is studying the feasibility of creating a National Do Not Spam Registry, and will issue a report in June 2004. At this time, however, there is no legitimate "National Do Not E-mail Registry."

But that fact didn't deter a website for claiming there is a "National Do Not E-mail Registry." And visitors were asked to submit their e-mail address to this "National Do Not E-mail Registry" that promises to reduce the amount of spam you receive. FTC called the website a scam.

According to FTC, the website at "" mimics the language, look, and navigation of website for the National Do Not Call Registry, a legitimate free service of the federal government. The site is not run or authorized by FTC.

FTC's concern: This site "could be part of a high-tech scam that uses a deceptive Web site to trick consumers into disclosing their e-mail address or other sensitive personal information. This site may be a ruse to collect valid e-mail addresses to sell to spammers. The result could be even more spam for consumers who sign up for this `registry.' Or it may be even worse--some scammers have collected information through bogus web sites like this one that mimic those of legitimate organizations, and then used the information to commit identity theft."

(FTC Release, February 12, 2004.)


On February 10, 2004, FTC proposed to amend the "Do Not Call" provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to require that telemarketers subject to the Rule access the National Do Not Call Registry and purge numbers on the Registry from their call lists every month. The TSR currently requires telemarketers to do this on a quarterly basis.

FTC seeks comment on two specific issues:

First, it wants comment on the proposed amendment's use of the phrase "thirty (30) days" rather than "once a month," the phrase currently in the statute. The "thirty (30) days" language is used for greater clarity and to effectuate the two-fold intent of the Congress in the Appropriations Act, which was to shorten from quarterly to monthly the interval for telemarketers and sellers to purge registered telephone numbers from their calling lists, and to enable consumers to assert valid Do Not Call complaints one month after entering their numbers on the Registry - rather than waiting three months, as they must do now.

Second, FTC seeks comment on the appropriate effective date for this amendment.

The deadline for comment is February 26, 2004.

(Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to Amend the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) Pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004; Agency Seeks Comment on Amendment of the TSR to Require Monthly (rather than Quarterly) Scrubbing of Call Lists Text of Notice, FTC File No. R411001, February 10, 2004.)
















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