Extinct within five years: Lloyd warns telemarketing industry

Telephone fundraising will be dead within five years, Colin Lloyd, chairman of the Fundraising Standards Board, told delegates at the Institute of Fundraising convention yesterday.

The whole cold-calling industry is under threat, he said, because 14.5 million households have signed up to the Telephone Preference Service, a database of individuals who do not want to receive marketing calls. With sign-ups increasing at a rate of 200,000 per month, any charity that wishes to approach new donors through this channel will soon find nobody to phone, he said.

The service was set up 11 years ago by the Direct Marketing Association as a self-regulatory scheme. It was not entirely successful because not all marketers observed people's requests not be contacted.

The Government instead imposed the Privacy in Electronic Communications Regulations in 2003, which give people the legal right to opt out of telemarketing.

Lloyd warned that more regulation could be on the cards because marketers still aren't taking the rules seriously. "It relies on outbound telemarketers to be more compliant than they are," he said. "The whole sector will be dead in five years' time."

Lloyd worked for the Direct Marketing Association from 1992 to 2001 and was responsible for introducing a unified self-regulatory scheme for the direct marketing industry.

For more from the convention, click here.


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