With lead generation experiencing greater scrutiny by numerous governing bodies on and around Capitol Hill, self-regulation is more important than ever before.
Regulation and compliance will be key issues discussed at the upcoming LeadsCon Las Vegas conference, March 20-22. “Buyer’s Summit: LeadsCouncil 2017 – The Importance of Self-Regulation” will address one of the most critical topics across the industry.
Greg Gragg, Board Chairman of online lead generation association LeadsCouncil, will participate in this panel. He says the industry, against this backdrop, needs to focus on disclosures on data usage, storage and management, and no false or misleading statements to draw in the consumer. “Legislators and [attorney generals] are not fans of bait and switch,” he says.
LeadsCouncil is deeply entrenched in what is transpiring on the legislative front. “Like many other Americans, we remain riveted by our new administration and are eager to discover more about what we suspect will be a radically new agenda,” says Gragg. “Therefore we will be doing the rounds in Washington, D.C. to meet and take the temperature of the incoming staff with the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – if they survive – and Capitol Hill.”
Gragg is entering into his third year as LeadsCouncil Board Chairman. For the past two years, collectively, the Board has focused on challenging and changing the regulatory landscape created by the Obama administration. “We were successful in educating the FCC, FTC, CFPB, legislators, as well as States Attorney’s Generals on what is ‘really’ happening in our industry and where the real concerns lay.”
With that, LeadsCouncil published its standards in February 2017. These standards include a compilation of feedback from regulators, legislators and attorney generals, a review of comparable industry standards and guidelines, input from the LeadsCouncil Board of Directors, and all current regulations and guidelines. “[It is] crafted from the most critical regulations and guidelines impacting lead generation today,” Gragg emphasizes.
Where Else to Spend Your Time and Attention
Gragg suggests three areas for lead buyers and sellers to invest time and attention to:
Become familiar with the LeadsCouncil Standards and Guidelines and integrate these into your internal self-regulatory framework.
All lead generators need to be knowledgeable about current regulations and guidance. Whether it be the Dodd-Frank Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), the national Do-Not-Call (DNC) registry, CAN-SPAM, FTC Act, Mini-FTC Acts, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), ignorance of the law is not an excuse and regulatory agencies and attorney generals will go after you.
Know the advocates in your specific vertical(s) – including the Online Lending Alliance (OLA), the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) – and understand the regulatory environment within the industries in which you are generating leads.
LeadsCouncil will also be participating with the OLA at its May 2017 Spring Summit. Gragg notes LeadsCouncil will use this event as a springboard for planning LeadsCouncil's Hill Day in 2018.
Additionally, LeadsCouncil is developing new technology for all lead generators, which will be launched later this year. While Gragg could not disclose any further information, he did add: “If you are connected with a call center in any way, this will be an absolute necessity for your business.”
Parting wisdom? Gragg offers these thoughts regarding LeadsCouncil’s best practices: “Read them and live by them,” he advises. “Then join LeadsCouncil to be part of a collective groundswell of advocates not only for the LeadsCouncil Standards, but for all of lead generation.”
Those interested in participating in the Buyer’s Summit must qualify to attend. Click here for more information.