National Do Not Call List Launched in Canada - 
September 30, 2008

Canadians are being victimized at an alarming rate by fraudulent telemarketers posing as survey researchers to sell products or raise money, and this illegal telemarketing practice threatens the goodwill people generally have for opinion research, according to a national survey from VoxPop, a campaign by the Marketing and Research Intelligence Association (MRIA) to give voice to Canadians and encourage participation in survey research. The MRIA governs and represents Canada’s survey research industry.

Under the federal Competition Act, telemarketers are required by law to identify their company and disclose their true purpose at the beginning of a call. The Personal Information Protection and Electronics Documents Act (PIPEDA) also requires business organizations to obtain valid consent from Canadians before collecting, disclosing or using their personal information. Canadians who are victimized by fraudulent telemarketers posing as survey researchers can reach PhoneBusters by calling toll-free 1-888-495-8501.

People can verify the legitimacy and nature of the research they are being asked to participate in by asking for the survey’s registration code. MRIA member research firms will provide this information upon request, along with contact information for the research director who is conducting the study.

MRIA has been working closely with the CRTC, on behalf of members, to ensure that robust communications are implemented to thoroughly inform Canadians about the types of calls, including those from survey research firms, that are exempted from the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) launched as the first ever in Canada, on September 30 2008; about how the process of registering phone numbers will work; and to make it clear that phones won’t suddenly go silent the day after they register.

The CRTC’s printed materials on the DNCL make it clear that survey and opinion research is not telemarketing, and that opinion research calls are exempt from the DNCL rules.

In fact, while calls by or on behalf of registered charities, political parties, daily newspapers selling subscriptions, and previous business relationships going back as far as 18 months are also exempted from the DNCL, only survey research calls have two additional exemptions in the relevant legislation – An Act To Amend The Telecommunications Act.

Only survey research companies are not required

  • to announce, at the beginning of a telecommunication, on whose behalf the call is being made; and
  • to maintain an internal Do Not Call List.

The CRTC’s Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules (click here to review), which do applyto survey research calls, also make the clear differentiation between survey research and telemarketing: in Part II, 3 (f) and in Part III, 6.

So while survey research calls are exempt from the DNCL, our industry is clearly an interested party and important stakeholder and the CRTC recognizes us as such.

In addition, the CRTC is collaborating with MRIA on an MRIA VoxPop survey related to the DNCL and Canadians’ awareness of the List. This is a tracking study to be benchmarked against the results of the first VoxPop survey, conducted in the summer of 2007 on the same subject.

Further information about the coming National Do Not Call List can be found on the CRTC’s DNCL-specific web site at www.LNNTE-DNCL.gc.ca.

WHO WE ARE: The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association (MRIA) is a Canadian not-for-profit association representing all aspects of the market intelligence and survey research industry, including social research, competitive intelligence, data mining, insight, and knowledge management. Members include over 1,800 practitioners, small to large research houses, and the many buyers of research services, such as financial institutions, major retailers, insurance companies and manufacturers. The industry accounts for almost three quarters of a billion dollars in market research activities annually.

The MRIA was founded on November 21, 2004, after the membership of the three Canadian associations representing the industry voted overwhelmingly in favour of merging. The newly-created body, which began operations on January 1, 2005, presents a unified voice for the industry; pulling together all of the products and services formerly offered to the public and the respective members of the now dissolved Canadian Association of Market Research Organizations (CAMRO), the Canadian Survey Research Council (CSRC) and the Professional Marketing Research Society (PMRS). www.mria-arim.ca

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