On April 27, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unanimously approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (and an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM)) to make adjustments to the FTC’s Telemarketing Sales Rule. agency in 16 CFR Part 310 (TSR). Among other things, the TSR “requires telemarketers to make specific disclosures of material information; prohibits misrepresentations; sets limits on the time telemarketers can call consumers; prohibit calls to a consumer who has asked not to be called back; and establishes payment restrictions for the sale of certain goods and services.”
The NPRM would, among other things, “would require telemarketers and telemarketers to keep additional records of their telemarketing transactions, prohibit material misrepresentations and false or misleading statements in business-to-business (“B2B”) telemarketing transactions, and add a new definition for the term “previous donor”.
Regarding changes to the existing B2B exemption, the NPRM notes that “[s]Since 2003, the Commission has continued to see businesses harmed by deceptive B2B telemarketing,” citing several different ways “including schemes that sell business directory listings, web hosting or design services, search engine optimization services, and advertising opportunities. specific to the market, as well as schemes that impersonate the government”. As a result, the agency “believes now is the time to reassess the B2B exemption and address the issues associated with B2B telemarketing.”
For now, the agency is proposing to “require all B2B telemarketing calls to comply with TSR’s existing prohibitions on misrepresentations articulated in Sections 310.3(a)(2) and 310.3(a)(4).” These provisions deal with “(1) various types of material misrepresentation in 3 the sale of goods or services; and (2) false or misleading statements to induce a person to pay for goods or services or to induce a charitable contribution.”
However, as part of the separate ANPRM, the FTC is “seeking comment on the B2B exemption generally, including comment on whether the Commission should remove the exemption altogether.” The ANPRM would also consider other changes.
Both the NPRM and ANPRM pose specific questions on which the agency requests input. The latter includes a specific list of “Questions for business-to-business telemarketing calls.”
Comments on the NPRM and ANRPM will be received no later than 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
© Copyright 2022 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 122