The Dove Foundation

The Dove Foundation

The Dove Foundation is a registered United States non-profit organization based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, known for its activities of rating, reviewing and endorsing films, and for campaigning against the portrayal of sexual activity and violence in Hollywood films.

It is also notable for its telemarketing and violation of the Missouri Do-Not-Call Implementation Act.

Despite their similar logos, the Dove Foundation has no relation to Unilever, manufacturer of Dove brand soap.



The organization was founded in 1991 as a not-for-profit organization. According to the organisation's website, its stated mission is "to encourage and promote the creation, production, distribution and consumption of wholesome family entertainment".[1] It screens movies for suitability for family viewing, and endorses acceptable ones with the Dove "Family-Approved" Seal.

Dove's web site states that review standards and criteria are based on Judeo-Christian values, and that Dove's non-profit status eliminates commercial pressure as a factor in its reviews. However, the Dove Foundation's association with Feature Films for Families [2] raises doubts about their freedom from influence by profit motives.

Call Center Operations

The organization has conducted a survey by telephone. As of July 31, 2007 the US telephone survey had concluded, but an internet survey is still ongoing [3], and, as of January 2008, the telephone survey is active in the UK. The phone survey has generated controversy for several reasons: Firstly, the methodology and results of its survey findings[4] are accused of strong sampling bias, as call recipients are only invited to participate in the survey if their answers to initial screening questions suggest they generally agree with the Foundation's positions.[5] These questions request "The lady of the house", and householders without children are not given the survey. Secondly, they have been found guilty of using the telephone survey as a ruse to sidestep the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act and help a partner sell products.

The call system uses a set of pre-recorded scripts, which are played in different sequences according to the responses received, as chosen by an operator listening to the calls. The ability to respond appropriately is limited by the finite number of scripts,[1] and by the fact that a single operator is monitoring four calls simultaneously. In addition, the caller asks for permission for a follow-up call. Respondents will be solicited to buy films by for-profit partner 'Feature Films for Families'. Although the foundation does not directly sell films, DVDs or Videos, it is closely associated with the for-profit partner, which pays for the operation of the call center.

Over four and one half million have participated in the survey;[4] many more have been called, and there have been complaints on blogs and bulletin boards. The Missouri Attorney General's office received some 300 complaints. Many of those telephoned by Dove are annoyed by the way the call is conducted: there are complaints that calls are received at any hour of the day, and regardless whether the family is on the United States National Do Not Call Registry. Also cited are the bluntness of the telemarketers, and their aggressive interviewing techniques.

The Attorney General of Missouri has ascertained that their mode of operation is a means to bypass the FCC do-not-call list restriction, and imposed a restraining order on these activities in Missouri in March 2006.[6]

In the court action brought by the Missouri state, Feature Films for Families Inc. of Murray, Utah, and the Dove Foundation were fined the sum of US$70,000 in August 2006 for violation of state "No Call" laws.[2][7]

The Dove Foundation's call center has been listed by as their most-reported telephone number[8]


  1. ^ a b Dove Family Approved Videos, DVDs and Movies
  2. ^ a b Missouri No Call suit nets $70,000 settlement. St. Louis Business Journal. August 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  3. ^ The Dove Foundation. "Take our national opinion poll". Retrieved 2005-09-25. 
  4. ^ a b The Dove Foundation - Opinion Poll Statistics
  5. ^ Serata, Tammy (November 05, 2005). "The Dove Foundation Meets Quantum Theory". 
  6. ^ "Company selling films used non-profit organization as front to try to circumvent state No Call law, Nixon says" (Press release). Missouri Attorney General, Jay Nixon. March 27, 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-05. 
  7. ^ For the organization's response to criticism of the call center operation, see The Dove Foundation's FAQ page [1]
  8. ^ "Calls From (800) 679-0336". Retrieved 2007-08-06. 

External links

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