Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Political Telemarketing - A New Frontier in Consumer Annoyance

It seems that with every election cycle candidates are forced to campaign harder than they did in the previous cycle leaving potential voters with a case of election fatigue. Much of this fatigue is brought on by two factors, voters' constant access to information (whether they want it or not) and campaigns raising record amounts of money to pay for incredible amounts of advertising that would have been unheard of just 15 years ago.
In many ways voters are in information overload during an election season due to constant news coverage of the candidates as well as political advertising during commercial breaks and on the Internet. This information overload is only made worse by the fact that candidates are turning towards more direct ways of targeting voters then they have been in the past. In previous political cycles most people were accustomed to receiving large amounts of paper advertisements in their mailbox during an election season as well as occasional phone calls.
At the beginning of the recent political season it became apparent that candidates were looking to raise the bar on traditional advertisements by focusing more of their strategy on direct contact methods like the telephone instead of indirect methods like paper mailings. The political telemarketing that many voters have witnessed thus far has been nothing short of astounding. It seems that overzealous campaigns are renting out telemarketing services that are willing to call at all hours of the day at a rate that has never before been seen.
Political telemarketing has also shifted in the fact that these telemarketers will now call cell phones and people on do not call lists. Although there will likely never be any protection from political telemarketers calling a cell phone directly, there is a independent movements to create a political do not call list that is gaining support across the country. Unfortunately this movement lacks legal backing therefore it is nothing more than a gesture of goodwill if candidates choose to observe the preferences of people who place their phone numbers on the list.
Surprisingly a good deal of political telemarketing does not even come from the candidates themselves. Much of it comes from special interest groups that operate independently of the candidate, or at least from a distance. In fact there have even been cases in some of the primary states of political telemarketing being used in a way to discourage people from taking part in the political process by placing pre-recorded political calls to registered voters at all hours of the night. A
Unfortunately the only real way to block political telemarketing on your cell phone or home phone is to use a caller ID device and then block any troublesome political telemarketing phone numbers that pop up. Although this is definitely not an ideal strategy, it is the only strategy as candidates and special-interest groups have no qualms about calling your cell phone or even your home phone if you placed the number on a do not call list.
Gerry loves to compile consumer information and present it to those who will benefit. You can check out his latest website, which enables you to trace the owner to a phone number free.

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