19 February 2010

The Madness of Senator Conroy

Sometimes dumb ideas are so obviously dumb you would think that it would be impossible for people to act on them. But try this word association game with me; Tiger Woods-Las Vegas, Tom Cruise-Oprah’s couch, John Howard-Work Choices and Barnaby Joyce-Shadow Finance Minister. See what I mean?


Well, looming we have a big, dumb and scary idea which has now progressed to a proposed policy. It’s a policy that is going to have a VERY big impact on the recruitment agency world. It’s the dumb-arse idea of Federal Communications Minister, Senator Conroy, first floated in the 2009 Federal Budget, to extend the coverage of the Do Not Call Register beyond consumers and into the realm of business.

Currently the Do Not Call list, which is operated and enforced by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, does not contain phone numbers used by businesses, emergency services and fax numbers. Under the Senator Conroy’s proposal businesses could list themselves on the expanded DNC register with the consequences of hefty fines for those breaching this exclusion.

Can you imagine what this would do for the recruitment agency sector, let alone any other B2B sector? It would completely shut down one of the most important and time-effective ways for recruiters to develop business. The direct costs of complying with this proposed, let alone the opportunity costs, would be huge. For starters each company would be required to regularly ‘wash its prospect list clean’ to ensure the list was up to date with companies registered as a DNC organisation.

Is your head hurting yet?

The good news is that the ‘consultation process’ with industry is still underway and the legislation is yet to be introduced into Parliament.

As Rob Edwards, CEO of the Australian Direct Marketing Association so succinctly put it; "No one likes getting annoying phone calls, but you are trying to fix a problem with a cure that is 10 times worse than the illness."

Amen to that!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this Ross,

    Those peole in business who compalin about others calling them for business ignore that the expect their own sales teams to do just that. They also ignore the fact that:
    The majority of opportunities for business improvement originate with such calls,
    They find better/alternate suppliers,
    They find better prices
    This is how they are often introduced to new concepts and technology
    And the list goes on ........

    John Colebatch
    Impact Execuitive Appointments

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