What the FCC Robocall Warning Really Means
On Tuesday, the FCC issued a notice to political campaigns, reminding them of the various federal regulations that govern political calls. I’m not a lawyer, but here’s the gist of their document.
The notice specified a few key points of which the FCC wants to make sure campaigns are aware. Most of these points are directed at robocalls:
1. Sending recorded messages to cell phones is prohibited. The only way to get around this prohibition is by written consent.
2. Recorded messages must identify the person or organization responsible for the call at thebeginning of the message. As a general rule, we advise clients to begin recorded calls with this information. (“Hi, this is Kathy from Progress West Dakota calling to…”)
3. Recorded messages must contain the phone number of the person or organization responsible for the call. We can satisfy this with a local or toll-free number referenced in the message.
4. Live call operators cannot call cell phones unless each phone number is dialed one at a time. Cell phone numbers must be removed from autodialer lists and hand-dialed one-by-one.
We should remember that political calls are not regulated in the same manner as telemarketing calls, which face much harsher restrictions than do political calls, such as the requirement of a key press opt-out system in place on each telemarketing call.
As an industry leader, Chism Strategies strives for compliance with all regulations. In addition to federal regulations, many states have their own rules regarding political calls. While 100% compliance is always our goal, clients should take comfort in the fact that political speech, like political calling programs, is constitutionally one of the most protected forms of speech.
Good luck in the home stretch.