ADMA boss: Labor telephone campaign will hurt marketers

jodie sangster

ADMA CEO Jodie Sangster

The boss of the direct marketing industry’s trade body has spoken out against plans by Labor to blitz voters with campaigning phone calls in the run up to the election.

Unlike brands, political parties are exempt from respecting the requirements of the Do Not Call register which allows consumers to state that they do not wish to receive marketing phone calls.

Jodie Sangster, CEO of the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA),  Jodie Sangster said the impact would be on marketers who use telephone marketing responsibly.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Labor will, over the next fortnight, use the American campaign techniques of having an army of volunteers and campaign staff calling voters and urging them to vote Labor. Last Thursday night alone, the political party reportedly called 24,000 voters.

“This has a big impact on the industry but not on the political parties,”said  Sangster. “That’s my big issue with this.

“They shouldn’t be doing calls without people’s consent. This happened eight years ago where they were making a huge amount of calls and the number of complaints we received was phenomenal.”

Businesses are permitted to use telephone marketing where the person they are ringing is an existing customer or if they have not put themselves on the DNC register.

“This will absolutely lead to an upsurge in complaints about telephone marketing and it will also lead to more people opting out of telephone marketing and joining the Do Not Call register, which doesn’t apply to political parties,” said Sangster.

Sangster said there was a double standard in Labor using a telephone campaign while the government is currently considering giving consumers an option of signing on to the register for an indefinite period. Currently consumers must renew their registration on the DNC list every eight years.

“What I find really interesting about this is that Labor has realised the value of telephone marketing, so that is good,” she said, “but they are also as a government looking at extending the time that consumers are on the Do Not Call register to indefinitely. That would really impact business.

“On one hand we are seeing the government restricting business from making telephone marketing calls and then on the other, they are saying this is an effective form of marketing and want to be able to use it. There is a complete conflict between the two.”

ADMA wants to see political parties treated the same as business and bound by the same rules as all other telephone marketers.

“Political parties should be bound by the same rules as business and if someone is on the do not call register then those people don’t want to be contacted for marketing purposes and this is a marketing purpose. Labor and Liberal should be forced to check the Do Not Call register just like everyone else.”

At the time of posting Labor had not responded to Mumbrella’s invitation to comment.

Nic Christensen


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