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Compliance Guide™ Features

September 2011: On My Way To The ATA

by Joseph Sanscrainte, an attorney specializing in telemarketing law.

As regular readers of my articles will note (there must be a few of you out there, right?), I always dedicate my writing to updating compliance professionals with regard to the latest developments in state and/or federal rules impacting telemarketing. This article, however, will be different — a change of pace, if you will. Rather than get all legal/regulatory, I am instead going to use this space to discuss the ATA's upcoming Washington Conference.

Why discuss the ATA's Washington Conference? Because this year we're witnessing the payoff from the ATA's hard work "selling" the industry to the powers that be. It wasn't that long ago that the mere mention of the word "telemarketer" in Washington would result in a stampede of legislators and regulators looking for a microphone to decry the "abuse" and "fraud" being heaped upon innocent consumers by the industry. The ATA has worked diligently, patiently, and most importantly, intelligently, to turn this perception around. And what is the key thing the ATA has been preaching? That telemarketing means JOBS, and lots of them. The ATA has spent years telling any legislator/regulator who would listen that it doesn't make sense to regulate the space to oblivion — there are just too many jobs at stake.

And what's the number one item on everyone's agenda right now in DC? You guessed it — JOBS. Our federal overlords are falling all over themselves trying to make it appear that they're doing everything they can to foster, create, and maintain decent jobs for American citizens. Now, thanks to the ATA's efforts in rebranding the telemarketing industry in DC, we have a Washington Conference featuring heavy hitters from across the political spectrum — all interested in addressing Summit attendees due to the industry's track record of job creation.

This year, the ATA has put together keynote speakers from the White House and the two main federal regulatory bodies overseeing the industry, the FCC and the FTC. We open with Jim Kohlenberger, Former Chief of Staff of the White House Office of Science and Technology, and currently Executive Director of (drumroll please) Jobs for America, who will be delivering the keynote address on opening day. (Mr. Kohlenberger will also be staying afterward for a reception in the Platinum Member lounge.) On the following day, Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the FCC, will be keynoting on the topic du jour with a speech entitled "The FCC: American's Broadband Agency Focused on Jobs & Economic Growth." And finally, Lois Greisman, Associate Director of the Division of Marketing Practices of the FTC will be keynoting on day three of the conference.

In other words, the Feds have finally gotten around to seeing the ATA as an important ALLY in the war against unemployment, and it's accordingly tremendously important that the industry show up en masse to show our strength! If the keynoters above aren't enough for you, the Summit's agenda is jam packed with panels and presentations, including updates on federal laws, Do Not Track, privacy rules, and even a live Compliance Officer's Forum featuring yours truly, Ryan Thurman from Contact Center Compliance, Janette Nelson from West, and John Nelson from Bank of America. If you've already registered, check to see if there any other people you know who should register; if you're planning on registering but haven't gotten around to it yet, let's get 'er done, and THEN go and see if there are any other people you know who should register; if you haven't registered because you're not sure whether you should come, clear your schedule and register! This is an extremely important DC Summit, not just for the ATA, but for the entire industry. Let's show Washington we know a thing or two about job creation.

You can contact Joseph Sanscrainte at jws@sanscrainte.com

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