AJS Will Pay Fine, Comply with Okla. Telephone Laws

Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson announced that his office has completed its investigation into political telephone calls that targeted a Republican congressional race on the eve of July’s primary election.

The focus of the probe, Americans for Job Security, Inc. (AJS) and its telemarketer, Advantage Inc., have signed an assurance of voluntary compliance requiring them to comply with the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) when placing automated, prerecorded telephone calls to Oklahoma residents.

The TCPA requires that all prerecorded telephone messages identify the name and telephone number of the business, individual or entity responsible for initiating the call.

Edmondson’s Consumer Protection Unit investigated the calls, which targeted the Mary Fallin and Denise Bode candidacies. The calls were placed July 24, just one day before the primary election.

“The calls failed to contain a contact number as required by the TCPA,” Edmondson said. “Additionally, the act requires the entity responsible for making the call to identify itself at the beginning of the message. AJS’s identity was not revealed until the end of the call.”

AJS and Advantage will each pay $3,000 for investigative costs. According to the attorney general, AJS and Advantage cooperated fully with the investigation, and no other candidates were found to be associated with the calls. AJS is based in Alexandria, Va., and Advantage is based in Arlington, Va.

The TCPA authorizes state attorneys general to bring enforcement actions for violations that occur in their respective states.

“Political calls and the use of automatic dialing machines to deliver prerecorded political messages are allowed under state and federal law,” Edmondson said. “But candidates and committees should be mindful of TCPA requirements.”

Source: Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office