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The November 2008 edition of Response featured an article on the regulatory landscape facing the direct response marketing industry. "Facing the Regulatory Music" features an extensive interview with Venable partner Jeff Knowles, who co-chairs Venable's Government Division and heads the firm's Advertising and Marketing Practice Group.

According to Knowles, the direct response industry will face some challenges in the new year, including increased product performance standards by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). "The industry should be prepared to litigate if the FTC goes too far in this area. Among other things, this shift would raise substantial First Amendment issues in seeking to prohibit not just false or misleading messages, but truthful ones as well," said Knowles.

Knowles also expects potential FTC civil penalties and privacy and data security issues to impact the industry in the near future.

The interview includes Knowles' comments on the relationship between the direct response industry and the FTC and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is supported by a strong system of self-regulation. "The FTC has frequently and strongly commended self-regulation in general, and, in particular, the efforts and willingness of an industry to get involved in regulating its own gives the participants substantial credibility with the FTC. Trade associations should be open to working closely with the FTC and the FCC."