TELEMARKETING LAWS AFFECT NEWSPAPER DRIVES

By: Lucia Moses

New York Is Latest State To Adopt ‘Do-Not-Call’ List


Newspapers in the Empire State will be relying less on
telemarketing to enlist subscribers now that New York has become
one of an estimated 20 states that have adopted a “Don’t Call Us”
law.

The law, which took effect April 1, prohibits newspapers and
other businesses from making unwanted phone solicitations. More
than 1 million households have already put their numbers in a
state “do not call” registry, and telemarketers will have 30 days
to remove those numbers from their call lists. Businesses can be
fined as much as $2,000 for each unwanted call.

Diane Kennedy, president of the New York Newspaper Publishers
Association, which lobbied against the measure, said she expects
more newspapers to use methods such as direct mail and door-to-
door contacts as the law takes effect.

The law permits businesses to call people with whom they already
have a relationship, and Kennedy said she believes newspapers
still will be allowed to contact potential customers to whom they
are sending free sample papers, which should cushion the law’s
impact.

Some papers, such as Newsday in Melville, N.Y., have
already started to place more emphasis on direct mail as well as
kiosks at events, recognizing that telemarketing is losing its
effectiveness. The paper said it already maintains a “do not
call” list that numbers about 300,000 households.

The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y., switched to an outside
telemarketing firm that can better maintain a current “do not
call” list. Circulation Director Bill Sara said the paper is
leaning more on sampling and kiosks, but telemarketing still
provides about 65%
of new orders.

“The reality, Sara said, “is that a lot of newspapers have a
pretty high reliance on telemarketing for subscriptions.”



Lucia Moses (lmoses@editorandpublisher.com) is an associate editor covering business for
E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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