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Telemarketers on Do Not Call List

The home telephone numbers of the 11 top executives of the Direct Marketing Association, which is trying to kill the federal do-not-call list that 50 million people signed on to, are on the list, meaning they don't want to receive any annoying sales calls.

Jack Dolan writes in the Hartford Courant that the executives signed up at the same time their organization began waging a legal battle to prevent federal regulators from blocking telemarketing calls to millions of other Americans.

Bob Bulmash, who has been fighting telemarketers for years with his website Private-Citizen.com, says, "Here we have an industry that, essentially, sued 50 million Americans in order to protect its own stream of income. But when it comes home to them, they don't want the calls either."

Jerry Cerasale, the DMA's chief spokesman, confirms he's on the list, but says someone else put him there. "Somebody is obviously trying to embarrass me," he says. "This is one of the reasons we've been against the Internet sign-up. Anybody could put your number on the list. I don't know if the FTC has controls on this."

But DMA spokesman Louis Mastria says they put their home numbers on the list as an experiment, to see whether it makes any "perceptible difference" in the number of sales calls they receive.

Another DMA executive, who wants to remain anonymous, says, "I registered there myself personally for the same reason that other consumers have. I don't want to be bothered by telemarketing calls."

Jasvant D. Mahadevia, who retired from the DMA this year, has signed up too and says, "There are so many calls I don't want. They are disturbing my routine."

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