Effects Of FTC's Do-Not-Call List

The marketing research industry may be exempt from the Federal Trade Commission's Do-Not Call (DNC) regulations for telemarketers, but that does not mean it is exempt from the DNC's effects on consumer perception when it comes to unsolicited telephone calls. The main issue for marketing research companies is that, for the most part, the general public remains uninformed about the exemption until they are kindly and properly informed by the research interviewer.

What is the main impact of the DNC regulations on the marketing research industry? The 2004 Research Industry Trends Study recently asked that question of 721 respondents mostly from full-service suppliers, client-side marketing researchers and consultants. Less than 20 percent felt the regulations will have no effect on the way their organizations collect data. One-fifth of the researchers feel the main impact will be reduced cooperation rates and another 14 percent have concerns about representativeness of samples as a result, according to the survey, which was sponsored by Pioneer Marketing Research, DialTek, LP, and BayaSoft.�

The industry has definitely seen a decline in response rates for consumer telephone surveys, but the effects have been minimal so far. The key to dealing with the issue for companies conducting marketing research is to have a clear policy, procedure and well trained interviewers in place and ready for those respondents who voice concern about the DNC. In the current environment, it is the job of all of us who conduct telephone surveys with consumers to be patient with the consumer and help educate them.

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