telemarketing

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telemarketing,

the practice of selling goods or services to customers by means of the telephone or of surveying consumer preferences in telephone conversations. Telemarketing firms use trained staff and automatic, rapid-dial equipment to make the telephone calls; when conducting surveys, telemarketers generally use a script that is designed to elicit only a small range of responses. U.S. advertising and marketing firms spent $110.5 billion on telemarketing in 1999; by the end of the 1990s the value of goods and services sold by telephone had reached $150 billion in the United States and $750 billion worldwide. Telemarketing, also called telephone solicitation, is regulated by the Federal Communications CommissionFederal Communications Commission
(FCC), independent executive agency of the U.S. government established in 1934 to regulate interstate and foreign communications in the public interest.
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, the Federal Trade CommissionFederal Trade Commission
(FTC), independent agency of the U.S. government established in 1915 and charged with keeping American business competition free and fair. The FTC has no jurisdiction over banks and common carriers, which are under the supervision of other governmental
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, and state agencies. Many of the regulations concerning telemarketing are targeted at combating fraud. The Direct Marketing Association (a marketing industry group) and many states maintain do-not-call lists that are designed to reduce the number of unsolicited telemarketing calls people receive. A move by the Federal Trade Commission to establish (2003) a national do-not-call list was challenged in the courts.

telemarketing

Selling over the telephone.
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