Advertising Strategies and Lessons


2020 Industry Impact Report Highlights Areas Of Confusion With Compliance Regulations

March 4, 2020 Sarah Cavill

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In partnership with LeadsCouncil, DMS conducted an industry-wide compliance survey in October of 2019. The survey was done to better understand current compliance regulation awareness and perceptions and gauge industry readiness for upcoming regulations. The results of the survey showed that, though many of those surveyed had a comprehensive understanding of well-established compliance regulations, newer and less publicized regulations flew under the radar leading to confusion and a lot of “gray areas” for respondents. The results of the survey can be found by downloading the 2020 Industry Impact: Report On The Industry’s Compliance Awareness And Preparedness.

A short summary of the findings follows.

Among Those Surveyed, TCPA And Federal Do Not Call (DNC) Laws Were Well Understood

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Federal Do Not Call (DNC) laws, were well understood by survey respondents, with the vast majority of respondents accurately answering questions on these rulings. The survey results indicated that the likelihood of marketers following TCPA regulations for all telemarketing calls was high, and that it is a commonly accepted best practice to gain prior consent before dialing a phone number. The TCPA is a federal law passed in 1991, with an update in 2013, making it a well-publicized and well-understood compliance regulation.

Similarly, survey respondents were mostly clear on the legalities surrounding federal DNC laws, including exemptions and Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) provisions.

There Was Significant Confusion Among Survey Respondents About State-Specific Regulations, Like CCPA

The majority of survey respondents were well aware that the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) went into effect on January 1, 2020, likely because of the amount of publicity that surrounded the law. However, many respondents were confused about which provisions require a company to comply with CCPA. Among the more significant misunderstandings surrounding CCPA is the belief that it only applies to businesses located in California. Across the CCPA-specific survey questions, responses illustrated a lack of understanding about CCPA.

Similarly, based on survey results, it appears that states, like Maine and Nevada, that passed their own privacy laws haven’t been able to wade through the confusion to make clear how their state’s regulations differ from CCPA and other privacy laws that have been better publicized.

The Level Of Confidence Among Respondents Regarding Their Own Company Compliance Was Low

On a scale of 1 to 10, when asked about their level of confidence in their understanding of the privacy laws and regulations that apply to their companies, the average score for respondents was only 5.3, highlighting the need for additional training and consensus on interpretation of complex compliance regulations.

When respondents were asked if they were confident their company was prepared and compliant for 2020, the average score was 6.5. However, this survey was conducted during Q4 of 2019, during the period when many companies were rushing to get systems in place to comply with regulations going into effect the first day of 2020. It is likely that responses would be much higher if this survey were conducted again during Q1 of 2020.

Which Compliance Regulations Are Most And Least Understood In The Digital Marketing Industry?

Find out in the DMS 2020 Industry Impact: Report On The Industry’s Compliance Awareness And Preparedness — available for download today!

Contact DMS

About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Senior Marketing Communications Writer, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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