While I’m ranting about smart (and bad) business decisions and telling the truth (my them for the day), the lawsuit yesterday about the Do Not Call list just made me sigh (okay, I laughed a little too).
The direct marketing industry sued the FTC to stop the Do Not Call list. You remember, this is the list that more than 50,000,000 of us signed up for. The one that says, “Hey, you’re bothering me, go away, don’t call.” The industry has decided that we don’t know what’s good for us, and even though we don’t want them to call, they should be entitled to take our attention just because they can make some money doing so.
First, does the industry really and truly believe that any politician on the planet would hesitate to support a list that already has 30% of the households in the country signed up for it? Who cares that it got overturned–Congress will amend the Constitution if they have to to make this thing legal. It just cost the industry money and made them look even worse.
But going a step further, why lie about it? Why do they have to claim it will cost our economy 2,000,000 jobs? That’s a lot of jobs. That’s all the soldiers in Iraq–times 15. Do they honestly believe that if people stop calling us at home during dinner that we’ll actually start buying less stuff?
More important, the Do Not Call list is the single best thing to happen to direct marketing since the invention of the catalog. Here’s a government-financed way of figuring out in advance who’s going to hang up on you. Even better, it changes the industry to a permission focus–figure out why people would WANT to have you call them, and start doing that. Permission-based industries make more money than spammers for a simple reason… it’s way more efficient.