Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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November 2nd, 2010 · No Comments · Media, Social Commentary

Recently I blogged about PEGGY – the funny albeit not so funny creation of the Martin Ad Agency on behalf of the Discover Card (See previous post).

Here’s another way that some Americans are getting under the skin of other Americans. It’s election day so get ready for more annoying phone calls, and And if you hated the outsourced calls, well we can do one better, courtesy of the same people who want your vote – politicians running for office.

But wait there’s more. Robocalls on your cellphone is the next step in the evolution of killing the American Spirit. Yes I’m going as far as saying KILLING THE AMERICAN SPIRIT. What more does Washington want from Americans. Apparently now their time.

It’s bad enough that the average person has insurmountable debt, few new job prospects, more taxes and enough trouble to go around when dealing with Credit Card Companies, Collection Agencies and Banks. But those who use robocalls wont be satisfied until someone gets hurt. Read on.

The bottom line is it’s quick, cheap outreach but has the opposite effect than the one intended. You robocall me, and I will do the opposite of what the call was intended to do. In other words, you called me with “Hello, this is So-And-So, and I’m calling to urge you to join me in supporting Blah Blah Blah.” I usually hang on to see if I can call back to get my name removed but Congress in it’s wisdom has made this requirement – well, I guess not a requirement. At least one that’s not followed.

As mobiles replace landlines (in a quarter of American households), you will increasingly be interrupted by a political message or telemarketing robocall that knocks you off an important phone conversation, during a meeting, or worse while crossing the street with a baby in a stroller. I’m waiting for that lawsuit.

The FCC (“Federal Communications Commission”), says it’s illegal. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act is supposed to make telemarketers weed those numbers from databases.

But surprise – The Federal Trade Commission exempts political calls from its telemarketing rules. So voters this week heard from Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton and Bob Dole (does anyone listen to Bob Dole?), all stumping for candidates in living rooms and kitchens across the state. And even though nobody really listens to them because they annoy people, campaigns’ robocalls continue. According to the Pew Research Center, by 2008, they were the top campaign outreach tool. I assume the second is negative television ads because it’s cheap costing only pennies.

The one good thing about this is that it’s now replacing the workers who replaced American workers.

Speaking of which – here’s a clip from the TV series Outsourced.



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