Originally created 07/14/97

Explains how to avoid phone solicitors



Your recent item on direct marketing in your May 5 column titled "Ask Us," omitted some important information that may be valuable to your readers.

In most cases, telephone solicitations are the result of an existing relationship the consumer has established with an organization. In other instances, the calls may be from organizations that are similar to those the consumer has purchased from or contributed to in the past. Effective telephone marketing relies upon targeting those consumers who would be likely to have an interest in the particular product being offered.

Consumers can control the marketing phone calls they receive in their homes from national telemarketers. Apart from contacting the Direct Marketing Association's Telephone Preference Service, the consumer can request to be placed on a "do not call" list, and the telemarketer must oblige by law to not call the consumer again for up to one year. Non-profit groups and political organizations are exempt from this law.

Consumers who wish not to receive telephone sales calls may contact DMA's Telephone Preference Service as mentioned in the news item. This free service deletes consumer names from most national telephone sales lists. Consumers should be sure to state their complete name, address, and telephone number, including area code. TPS will not affect sequentially-dialed computerized calls or calls for local organizations; the consumer may want to contact them directly.

We would be happy to be a resource for any stories you cover on direct marketing in the future.

Nicholas Diehl, New York, N.Y.

(Editor's note: The writer is a spokesman for Direct Marketing Association, Inc.)