The ATA, with offices in Indianapolis and Washington, DC, hired NY-based DKC just three days before FCC commissioners approved the "do not call" initiative on June 26 in a 5-0 vote.
Since the vote, more than 30m Americans have signed up via phone and the internet to block telemarketing solicitations. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling those on the list unless the caller works for a political candidate or non-profit organization. Violators can be charged $11,000 per infraction.
DKC appears to be centering its message on the economic impact of the initiative, especially the loss of low-skill jobs.
"We were retained to ensure that people take a closer look at the human consequences of the 'do not call' list," said Matthew Traub, partner and chief of staff at DKC. "These are people who are difficult to employ. It tends to be the physically disabled, college students, inner-city youth, and single mothers who have difficult schedules."
The DKC team has worked quickly to get the ATA's side of the story into the media, and ensure that reporters covering the issue included the ATA's views in their articles.
As a result, Tim Searcy, executive director of the ATA, did more than 200 interviews in 40 days, including Reuters, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Crossfire, and CNN's American Morning.
Searcy believes the effort has showed some results. "It's been interesting to watch the dialogue change," he said. "I think we're seen properly as the victim."
DKC is also supporting the ATA's lawsuit against the list-enforcing Federal Trade Commission, as well as a request to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver to reject the list.
"Win, lose, or draw on the legal front," Searcy said, "we as an industry need to do a better job of promoting the positive things that we do."
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