On December 12, 2008, the Higher Regional Court of Cologne ruled (Az. 6 U 41/08) that telephone surveys conducted by consumer survey institutes on behalf of their clients may constitute unfair telephone advertisement under the German Federal Unfair Competition Act, if conducted without prior consent. Failure by a consumer to respond before a prescribed deadline to a letter announcing the survey does not constitute consent. However, telephone surveys conducted by a neutral institution for non-profit purposes are not considered to be unfair telephone advertising. A copy of the judgement can be requested from the Court here.