In comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Insights Association member J.D. Power asserted that "the line between research and marketing is taken seriously and policed closely."
"Continued guidance" from the FCC on the differentiation of marketing from marketing research in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), J.D. Power said, "is critical to our industry. Indeed, given its vital role in linking businesses and consumers, medical professionals and patients, and politicians and the public, market research survey work is critical to the efficient functioning of the American economy and democracy in general."
As a defendent in one of the cases cited by the Insights Association / AAPOR petition, "has witnessed firsthand... how the plaintiffs’ bar can and does exploit courts’ misunderstandings of the nature of market research, and more importantly the difficulty some courts have in interpreting (or locating) the Commission’s prior guidance on the difference between research and marketing for TCPA purposes."
The FCC urgently needs to "instruct courts that a TCPA lawsuit is not an occasion for a wideranging fishing expedition to look for something somewhere else in a company’s documents which suggests a grander sales or marketing plan is afoot," commented J.D. Power. "There should be some meaningful tether to the actual communication in question."
FCC action is necessary, concluded J.D. Power, because "the situation is dire, and because we believe research work is so essential to a healthy relationship between businesses and the consuming public."
Other members of the marketing research and data analytics industry should join their compatriots in filing their own comments in support of this petition at the FCC by the July 9th deadline.