Breaking News: FCC Closes Lead Generator Loophole – A Game-Changer in Lead Generation Practices

By Fadi Agour, J.D.

In a significant move, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a groundbreaking ruling that aims to close the lead generator loophole in lead generation practices. The ruling, passed today, establishes stringent guidelines for calls made using regulated technology, limiting them to specific brands or sellers who have obtained prior express written consent from consumers. This shift, referred to as “one-to-one consent,” is poised to reshape the lead generation landscape.

Understanding Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a systematic process that assigns values to leads based on specific criteria, allowing businesses to rank and prioritize them. The goal is to identify leads that are more likely to convert into customers and engage with them strategically. By assigning scores to leads, marketers can tailor their approach, optimizing resources and maximizing the impact of their marketing efforts.

Key Components of the Ruling:

  1. Extension of DNC Protections to Text Messages: The ruling extends the protections of the Do Not Call (DNC) registry to text messages, ensuring that consumers are shielded from unwanted communication via this medium.
  2. Redefinition of Prior Express Written Consent: The ruling redefines prior express written consent to mean an agreement that authorizes only one identified seller to contact a consumer. This aims to curtail the prevalent practice of consumers receiving communications from numerous sellers.
  3. Logical and Topical Association Requirement: Calls made under consent must be “logically and topically associated with the interaction that prompted the consent.” This ensures that the nature of the communication aligns with the consumer’s expectations.
  4. Documentation Responsibilities: Brands or lead buyers are now required to maintain documentation of consent to call, eliminating the reliance on documentation held by sellers.

      Implications for Lead Generation:

      This ruling signifies a paradigm shift in the lead generation industry, particularly for comparison shopping sites and registration path sites. Some of the notable implications include:
      1. End to Large Partner Lists: Publishers can no longer utilize extensive lists of partners and indiscriminately sell leads into a network.
      2. Direct Consent from Consumers: Lead buyers must now obtain direct consent from consumers on the publisher’s website and maintain proper documentation of that consent.
      3. Shift in Lead Distribution Models: Traditional lead distribution models, such as the Ping Post method, may give way to alternatives like the Ping Pick Post model, providing consumers with a choice over who accesses their data.

          Navigating the New Lead Generation Landscape:

          As the industry adapts to these transformative changes, the FCC suggests various means for collecting one-to-one consent, such as checkbox lists or clickthrough links that allow consumers to choose specific sellers. The introduction of the Ping Pick Post proposed model is seen as a potential alternative to the existing Ping Post method.


          Explore the Future:

          For an in-depth understanding of the ruling, read the entire document here.


          We’re excited to navigate this new era of lead generation with you and welcome your thoughts on potential compliance strategies. Let’s shape the future of lead generation together!