Do Not Call Register Expansion Economic Vandalism – ADMA
Monday, 25th August 2008 at 1:23 pm
The Australian Direct Marketing Association which represents many major Australian charities says the Federal Government’s proposal to expand the operation of the Do Not Call Register to capture business to business (B2B) calls may well deal the Australian economy a severe blow and lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.
Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Direct Marketing Association, Rob Edwards, described the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’s discussion paper sanctioned by its Minister, Senator the Hon Stephen Conroy, as "horrific".
Edwards says the discussion paper, outlines a clear agenda to severely impair business to business marketing – which takes in the operations of the Not for Profit sector as well.
He says the obvious question is why, in a period of economic stress and uncertainty, would the Government even contemplate such an unnecessary restriction of trade and commerce which would affect the ability of predominantly small businesses or charities to promote and sell their products and services to other businesses?
The discussion paper called Eligibility requirements for registration on the Do Not Call Register, proposes two options: that all telephone numbers should be allowed to be listed on the Register – ie all business numbers as well as residential numbers – or that all of the 94% of businesses in Australia which are described as small businesses, should be allowed to register.
ADMA says the Government would not seek to discuss these two options if it had not already decided that – at a minimum – the Do Not Call Register should be extended to the vast majority of Australian businesses.
"What the Government obviously does not realise is that the ability of people to pick up the telephone and talk to other businesses about their requirements for products and services is a major driver of commerce and Australia’s economic health.
Rob Edwards says there is already the ludicrous situation where a business can be prosecuted and fined for calling another business which is advertised in the Yellow Pages, if the number has been illegally listed on the Do Not Call Register. These proposed expansions of the scheme would make the situation far worse.
ADMA is the peak association representing the Australian marketing industry and represents over 500 member organisations including major financial institutions, telecommunication companies, energy providers, travel service companies, major charities, statutory corporations and specialist suppliers of marketing services.
Edwards says every Australian business and Not for profit organisation will at some time attempt to make contact with current or potential customers as a normal and legitimate business activity.
He says that if either of these options is introduced it will be a brake on economic activity that will affect both mum and dad businesses and Australia’s biggest brands – and ultimately it will be working families that are hurt through job losses.