Advisory Opinions

FTC staff issue advisory opinions to help clarify FTC rules and decisions, often in response to requests from businesses and industry groups. To find a specific opinion, use the filters on this page.


The Division of Marketing Practices periodically issues informal staff advisory opinions in response to requests for interpretation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule. These opinions are issued, pursuant to Rules 1.1 - 1.4 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice, 16 C.F.R. §§ 1.1 - 1.4, in response to questions of general public interest.

Opinion 14-1

Discusses whether statutory and catalog sales exemption from definition of telemarketing applies to seller that solicits inbound calls in response to mailed catalogs, but does not complete a sale during the call.

Opinion 10-2

Discusses whether the transfer of a consumer-initiated call to a prerecorded message is restricted by Telemarketing Sales Rule provisions concerning outbound telephone call initiated to deliver a prerecorded message.

Opinion 10-1

Discusses whether prerecorded messages to customers regarding the availability of free services for a limited time period is telemarketing under the Telemarketing Sales Rule.

Opinion 09-1

Discusses applicability of TSR restrictions on the use of prerecorded messages in telemarketing to technology that enables call agents to respond to the recipient of a call by substituting audio recording of a response for the call agents' own voice.

Opinion 08-1

Discusses the interplay between the recordkeeping requirements of the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Do Not Call and Call Abandonment "safe harbor" provisions.

Opinion 07-1

Discusses the application of the Telemarketing Sales Rule to a proposed business plan involving the sale of automobile service contracts.

Opinion 06-2

Discusses the application of the Telemarketing Sales Rule's "Established Business Relationship" exemption to an Internet-based lead generation mechanism. 

Opinion 04-1

Discusses the application of the Telemarketing Sales Rule's Fee Rule provision to independent or franchised agents of a company. 

Opinion 03-1

Discusses the applicability of the Telemarketing Sales Rule to third-party telemarketing companies hired by an insurance company to sell insurance products.