Bloomberg News

FCC Votes to Help Consumers Hang Up On Automated Marketing Calls

February 17, 2012

Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Communications Commission moved against automated telemarketing pitches that have generated consumer complaints to the agency.

The FCC voted 3-0 today to require that banks, airlines, insurance companies and telephone carriers obtain written consent from consumers before sending the recorded marketing messages known as robocalls.

“We’re closing loopholes that have allowed robocallers to sneak through,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, said as the agency considered the rule during its monthly meeting in Washington. “Consumers have complained to us by the thousands.”

The vote harmonizes FCC rules with requirements set in 2008 by the Federal Trade Commission for other industries.

The changes won’t affect robocalls by political campaigns, non-profit organizations and informational messages such as notices about school closings, the FCC said as it proposed the changes.

--Editors: Michael Shepard, Steve Walsh

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net


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