Blue Ink’s FCC Concerns

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I am confused.

So back on January 11, 2024–just a few days ago–Blue Ink Digital filed what I consider to be a fantastic comment to the FCC addressing the new one-to-one consent ruling.

So I was very pleased and impressed with Blue Ink Digital showing such tremendous leadership and filing one of the first small business comments. Plus it was really good. Here is some of it for you to read:

The FCC new One-to-One requirement will significantly and negatively impact our business forcing us to make cuts to U.S. staffing and pay and will very negatively impact our hundreds of our U.S. clients who rely on lead generation services to stay in business, employ their workers and provide valuable services. The implementation of this rule will cause significant harm to the more than 2 million small businesses nationwide in our industry including the loss of high paying and cutting-edge tech jobs as well as negatively impacting hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs in dozens of industries that rely on lead generation services.

Blue Ink Digital is a U.S. based digital marketing company that typically employs between 6-10 U.S. workers in high paying tech jobs in the United States. Our company provides services for several hundred clients with the vast majority (95%+) being small businesses exclusively based in the U.S. and focused on the U.S market. Our clients typically employ 5-200 employees each.

As a marketing company, for us to advertise economically we need to advertise nationwide and then deliver the inquires to local professionals. There are more than 2 million home service businesses in the U.S. representing more than 6 million professionals. The One-to-One requirement will make it extremely difficult if not impossible for us to advertise for those clients. Furthermore, a very good portion of our clients are small businesses that do not have the expertise, capital or ability to advertise digitally and much of their business relies upon companies like ours to connect them to consumer’s looking for that service that would not otherwise be able to find them.

This change is akin to asking a carrot farmer to specify the exact grocery store that the carrot will be sold in before digging up the carrot. With a lot of cost and effort, the farmer may be able to specify the largest grocery chains but if the farmer is forced to implement this change the farmer would likely not sell to small local grocery stores given the logistical and regulatory burden being too high.

This rule will increase costs, reduce consumer access, and needlessly burdens too many legitimate small businesses. The FCC’s quest to limit unwanted texts and calls is noble and we very much support targeted efforts at eliminating fraud and spam message. However, this change will cause direct harm to our business including the immediate loss of high paying tech jobs that support small businesses in the home services and solar industry and we urge the FCC to reconsider based on the huge and very negative impact this change will have.

Pretty good right? Read whole thing here: Blue Ink Digital FCC Comment (1)

Tone is perfect. Content is outstanding. That carrot line is a real zinger.

In fact, I was going to suggest other small businesses use the Blue Ink Digital comment as a template that they too can use. It is really really good.

But then last Friday rolls around and the weirdest thing happens.

On linkedin Blue Ink Digital is suddenly peddling a purported solution to the rule– and joined an “open letter of support” for something called SIT-BAC.

Now, the “open letter of support” stops short of actually supporting the FCC’s One-to-One ruling but it is pretty tough to claim heartache and pain from a ruling, on the one hand, and then supporting a claimed solution that helps businesses navigate it with ease, on the other.

This is especially true when these two events occur just a day or so apart. Janus would be proud.

Look, I like the folks at Blue Ink–and I am not trying to pick on them– but let’s just take this opportunity to slow down and think through what we’re doing folks. Teachable moment.

If it is your position that the one-to-one ruling is a disaster–go with that. If it is your position that it can be solved for–go with that. But please don’t file a comment with the FCC hammering the ruling and then turnaround and tell industry that its all good. It will undermine those companies that are truly going to be creamed by the ruling–and there are many.

In terms of SIT-BAC, I am not endorsing it. I am not opposing it. I am taking no position on it at this time. But please understand that I really am not suggesting it would work from a legal perspective. If someone pays me to take a look at it I will, but PLEASE do not assume that just because I mentioned it on this blog that I think it is ok. That is NOT what I am saying. I am referencing it only because it is relevant to the story.

For those of you who need help writing your comment–and you are ALL going to write a comment to the FCC right?–you can look to the Blue Ink example or give us a call for help.

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