(Washington, D.C.) — Louisiana Act 810 – legislation drafted by CMOR – which had passed both the State House and Senate with unanimous approval was signed yesterday by Governor Bobby Jindal (R). The law will combat political persuasion calls (also known as ‘political telemarketing’ or ‘push polls’) while protecting legitimate survey and opinion research (including message testing).

As crafted by CMOR’s Government Affairs experts, the law prohibits making any telephone call expressly advocating support or opposition of a candidate, elected public official or ballot proposition without identifying the source of the call. The law exempts legitimate survey and opinion research.

"Given the Louisiana legislature’s previous attempt to combat push polls by requiring extensive and bias-inducing disclosures in telephone surveys, this is a special victory for the profession. We are fortunate to have CMOR’s Government Affairs staff and volunteers working on our behalf," stated Lawrence Brownell, CEO of the Marketing Research Association.

State Representative Neil Abramson commented: "My view of this legislation was a proactive effort to deal with political robo-calls by requiring identification of the candidate, party, or entity behind the politically-motivated calls so the public is fully informed of the context of the call, but at the same time preserving legitimate survey and opinion research studies."

This is the first law in the United States to define and protect message testing in research. It will also serve as a model law for researchers to use in promoting pro-active legislation at the grassroots level.

"None of this would have been possible without the due diligence and support of Jude Olinger, a CMOR grassroots volunteer, and his work with Rep. Neil Abramson (D, District 98)," said LaToya Lang, CMOR’s State Legislative Director.