The 1:1 Rule

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently implemented a new regulation known as the “1:1 Consent Rule,” which carries significant ramifications for the telemarketing sector. Telemarketing professionals must understand the intricacies of this rule and the potential effects on their operations. 

The Basics of Lead Generation

Imagine that you have a company that is selling travel packages. The travel company may go out and hire someone responsible for generating leads. These are organizations that bundle names and sell them. As we have discussed, when you pay for these leads, you must have protections to ensure these are legitimate. If the lead generation company uses deceptive or outright illegal tactics to compile these lists, there are scenarios in which the travel company will also be liable for using them. 

What Determines Consent in Telemarketing?

Anyone who is connected to telemarketing is (or should be) aware of what prior expressed written consent means. Consumers can give a company permission to contact them. Odds are, you have used this in your daily life. Imagine that you are a company’s website that sells travel packages. You have used them several times and have had good experiences with them. You may opt to be contacted by the company so they can offer you things like last-minute sales and discounted trips. It’s a win/win situation for the consumer and the company selling travel packages. 

However, this is where the 1:1 Rule comes into play. If you consent to contact the travel company, you expect only to be contacted by them. Why? Because this is the only company you gave consent to. What happens when there is a hotlink and drop-down menu next to the consent form with the names of fifty other organizations? Before the 1:1 Rule, lead generators could claim that the consumer was “consenting” to all fifty, even though they likely were unaware of what they were consenting to. 

The Aftermath 

The FCC has introduced a significant amendment to telemarketing regulations. It mandates that prior written consent from consumers for auto-dialed telemarketing texts or calls must be tied to the individual company intending to make the contact. 

This adjustment, called 1:1 consent, eliminates the “lead generator loophole,” which we discussed in the previous section. The FCC clarified that consent cannot be bundled for multiple sellers; express consent must be obtained separately. There is even a specific ban against using a “hyperlink” list approach. For consent to be considered valid, it must be clear and conspicuous to a reasonable consumer and comply with the ESign Act for online collections.

The FCC’s new restrictions are a critical reminder for companies to reassess their compliance across various legal frameworks, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule and state telemarketing laws. Companies are advised to explore the most effective and compliant methods to secure 1:1 consent for each seller, even if the compliance deadline is twelve months away. This involves considering A/B testing strategies for consent acquisition and potentially updating contractual agreements to align with these new regulatory requirements, highlighting the importance of adapting to these changes to avoid legal pitfalls and maintain consumer trust.

Contact Cove Law 

Navigating the complexities of telemarketing regulations can be challenging, but understanding and adhering to the 1:1 Consent Rule is essential for your business compliance. We’re here to provide support if you have any questions or need assistance adapting to these changes.

At Cove Law, we have more than twenty years of experience in telemarketing law. Schedule a free consultation with us today to ensure that your business remains on the side of the law and continues to thrive in this evolving landscape. Don’t be caught off guard by the 1:1 Consent Rule. Get in touch with us now to protect your telemarketing operations.

Andrew Cove
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