Direct Marketing Association Lies About Telemarketers' Contribution To Economy

In order to make itself look a respectable and unfairly maligned industry, The Direct Marketing Association (the same people behind likes to tout how greatly telemarketing contributes to the American economy. The Denialism blog scoured the DMA press releases and website found the profit they say telemarketing generates varies wildly from year to year, and sometimes within the same year.

“Telemarketing Sales” 2001: $93,800,000,000
In 2001…customers purchased $661 billion in goods and services – accounting for almost six percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”
Sales to consumers in 2001: $274,200,000,000
“Telemarketing Sales” 2002: $100,000,000,000

Telemarketing must be a very volatile industry.

The Direct Marketing Association’s New Math [Denialism Blog]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Parting says:

    Never, ever buy anything by phone. If it sounds remotely interesting, ask for written info to be sent to you.

    Once you see ”the deal” in writing, then you can really judge if it’s really a deal, or just a rip-off.

  2. rmz says:

    I can’t imagine ever buying anything without being able to at least see a picture of it, or be able to browse around for reviews or specifications. “Oh, I’ll just take your word for it that this vacuum cleaner is as reliable as you say! And it’ll even whiten my teeth? Amazing!”

  3. Nighthawke says:

    Is this the same bunch that you mail/fax in your address with a request to be removed from their mailing lists? I’d rather recycle their slick-skinned tree killers and be done with it.

  4. Amy Alkon says:

    Telemarketers suck productivity. I wake up to write when I’m on deadline at 5am, and friends know not to call me at home — they mostly e-mail me and we get together face to face. I am only awakened by telemarketers, like Heather, from “Account services,” who called me last night. I’ve just filed a lawsuit against GFK Automotive, which called to “survey” me — which is allowed, but shouldn’t be — they aren’t interested in my opinion, they’re interested in SELLING my opinion.

    Moreover, all these people calling to gin up support for their political candidates are abusive. If you want to campaign for a cause, spend the money to send me a letter. Let the burden be on you, not on me. I don’t maintain a phone line so I can make people’s marketing costs cheaper. All for the democracy and freedom of speech. Use of the phone line I pay to send your message for should not be free.

  5. smitty1123 says:

    Ahhhh, one of the few perks of only having a cell-phone…

  6. SacraBos says:

    Okay, so they have their wildly flucuating numbers of the “value” the generate in the economy. So how many phone calls does it take (auto-dialed, included) to produce that “income”? Do they factor in the lost productivity that each minute of wasted time causes? If so, would that result in them actually having a negative effect on the GDP? Of course, they will never tell…

  7. NotATool says:

    I hate Heather from Account Services. She sounds hot, and calls a lot, but I am growing tired of how she’s pestering me.

    I’ve asked her to stop calling, but she just hangs up on me.

    Don’t know what to do…

  8. deadlizard says:

    @smitty1123: I’d like to know what cell phone company you use. Mine calls me to sell me crappy services I don’t need.

  9. KJones says:

    Whoever coined the phrase, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” must have been the first ever victim of telemarketing.

    I don’t care if “it’s their job,” or “they’re only trying to make a living”. They should get a different job if they don’t want to get an earful of the George Carlin Seven Words. Nobody who cold calls to sell things deserves any respect or courtesy.


  10. riverstyxxx says:

    Three words: Fuck You SMC.

  11. ConnertheCat says:

    My domain register calls me every year to renew my domain. While they tend to call back at inconvenient times, I find it helpful because I’d forget otherwise.

  12. KJones says:


    That’s a whole different ball of wax from telewhores.

    A call from a service you pay for isn’t a “cold call”. It’s a call you (may) actually want to receive, and it may serve a valid purpose, so it’s not an invasion of your home.

  13. lemur says:

    @ConnertheCat: I get an email and that’s enough to remind me. There is a provision in the regulation for the “Do not Call” registry that allow companies with which you have an ongoing business relationship to call you. If my registrar called me to remind me to renew I would not be pissed. What pisses me is when companies decide that if you already do business with them then surely you will want to buy more services from them. Hmm… no. If I want something I’ll call you.

    I also think it is particularly stupid for companies to go through third parties to try to reach me. If I can’t recognize the name or phone number on the caller ID, I just don’t answer. Same thing with emails. For instance, I’m a subscriber to Consumer Reports and I do like them but there’s been times when they asked for my opinion and the return address or the web site where they recorded the answers was a third-party. Although I can’t be 100% positive that those were not attempts at phishing, I think those were just cases where they just did not realize that people would be put off by interacting with a third-party.

  14. ThinkerToys says:

    Wow, who would have thought that this industry would put out misleading information? I am shocked, I tell you, just shocked.

    I am on the do-not-call list, but I get a lot fewer calls from pollsters since I started asking them if it is an emergency:

    Me: “Hello?”
    Them: “Hi I’m so-and-so from such and such polling, and I…”
    Me: “Is this an emergency?”
    Them (usually): “What?”
    Me: “Is this an emergency?”
    Them: “No, I’m calling to get your opinion on…”
    Me: “This number is for emergencies only, I’m hanging up.”

    I figure if they do declare an emergency I can walk them through dialing 911…

  15. SacraBos says:

    @ThinkerToys: I always ask how much I’m going to get paid for the survey. After all, the do say they value my opinion, so how much do they actually value it? They’re getting paid for the survey, and if they need my input, I should be getting paid, too.

  16. clevershark says:

    Telemarketers lying? That’s unpossible!

  17. lemur says:

    @SacraBos: Nice response! Here’s another thing. If they value our opinion so much why don’t they value our opinion that we don’t want to get calls from telemarketers?