A Worthy Micro-Action: National Do-Not-Mail Registry

Petitioning is often a mere gesture, but not always.  And, sometimes, making a gesture is fine.

Here’s one to make: a petition for a national do-not-mail registry.

It’s weak sauce, but the idea is still solid and meaningful.  Take a minute, if only because the entirely despicable Direct Marketing Association desperately hopes you won’t…

Here’s a telling item from this week’s edition of Advertising Age:

As for the Direct Marketing Association, Ms. Cassady [of ForestEthics] said [the DMA] is using a band-aid approach to address the overall problem of inundation of junk mail and is in opposition to “giving consumers a choice on what they want to receive in the mail” referring to ForestEthics attempts to establish a national do-not-mail registry. “I think we’ll continue to discuss these things with the DMA, but right now we are definitely seeing a lot of opposition to things like do not mail,” Ms. Cassady said.

In a statement, DMA Senior Vice President of Corporate and Social Responsibility Senny Boone said: “For the last several years, the DMA has been a leader in terms of establishing meaningful environmental standards for the direct marketing discipline and target goals and timetables for measuring success. These efforts include the ‘Green 15,” a set of sustainable environmental marketing standards; a nationwide Recycle Please campaign; and the July, 2008 announcement by the DMA’s board of directors of its first green goal, in the area of list hygiene, for continuous environmental improvement.”

Ah, yes!  The old “We’re working on a timetable for measuring the extent of the possibly imminent emergence of a potential issue” schtick.  And you can always recycle the garbage we cram in your mailbox!

And, while you’re clicking on the petition, take a moment to ponder this capitalist trade association’s real attitude toward ordinary people’s freedom of choice…

One Reply to “A Worthy Micro-Action: National Do-Not-Mail Registry”

  1. As long as direct mail continues unabated, I (and other consumers) have no choice but to receive it. And that’s the issue; we’re never asked if we’d like to receive these advertisements, it comes to our mailbox whether we want it to or not. And don’t misunderstand me; I don’t dislike any particular company, but I do take issue with a company that uses direct mail as a means of advertising, believing THEY can decide want I want or need.
    Direct mail is a huge problem in the United States. From Forest Ethics: “American mailboxes are inundated with junk mail. More than 100,000,000,000 pieces of junk mail are delivered each year—that’s more than 800 pieces per household. In fact, junk mail in the United States accounts for one-third of all the mail delivered in the world. Even though 44% of that mail goes to the landfill unopened, we still spend 8 months of our lives dealing with it all. But junk mail does more than invade our homes and waste our time; it also destroys our environment.”
    In dealing with telemarketing, consumers finally got relief with the Do Not Call legislation. Unfortunately, many businesses today still consider direct mail “marketing”, and don’t consider the negative impact of what many consumers consider “junk mail”. However, this is leading to a ground swell of support for a Do Not Mail list, and such legislation is pending in at least 12 states. I understand some people like junk mail; let them continue to ask for it. I (and many others) want the option to be junk mail free.
    The United States Supreme Court in Rowan v. USPS has also commented about unsolicited mail: “Every man’s mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek, from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.” I couldn’t agree more…

Comments are closed.