Friday, September 23, 2011

Help! I am being buried under Junk Mail

Help! I am being buried under junk mail.

I have a problem which to date appears intractable.  It is junk mail.  I could solve my problem by putting a NO JUNK MAIL sticker over my mail box.  However, I don't want to do that.  You see, there is a certain economy surrounding the production and distribution of all that junk mail.  

The two major players (and, Dear Reader, please advise me if there are others you know about) are PMP and Salmat.  And then there are all of these.  There are all their employees organising, printing and publishing junk mail.  Then there are the walkers - or in more polite parlance the 'leaflet distributors'.  Walkers are the people who actually walk the streets putting the printed material in mail boxes.

Now I could try to fix all this in one fell swoop with the NO JUNK MAIL sticker.  However, doing that might not stop the material arriving, as Jim Schembri has pointed out as well as Stilgherrian.

The main reason I don't want to put up the NO JUNK MAIL sticker is that there are people whose livelihoods are dependent upon this industry.  I have had an elderly neighbour who is a walker and I have a friend from church who is a walker (in fact, a nice middle class single lady who, in my imagination, might not be the usual demographic).  In my view, being a walker is not an occupation that people would take up lightly - especially, if some other form of work or income was available to them.  Here are a couple of sites which give an idea of what is expected of walkers.

What I would like to see is something akin to the Australian Government's Do Not Call Register.  However, I don't want an all or nothing situation.  I want an opt in/opt out situation whereby the consumer could select the types of advertising to be received.  For myself, the only forms of advertising I would chose to receive are those from Woolworths, Coles, Aldi, Bunnings and Officeworks.  I don't want material promoting real estate, clothing, toys, takeaway food, cars and automotive products, or Australia Post.  

Advertisers seem to think that they have the right to inflict their promotional material on the consumer without the consumer being given any choice in the matter whatsoever.

So a couple of months ago I decided to embark on a one woman campaign on this.  I rang PMP and Salmat.  I contacted ADMA. I contacted my local councillor and state member of Parliament.  Not a chink of daylight anywhere in these communications. 

Over at Ethical Consumer Guide, Nick and Janet Ray have written of their experience with Junk Mail.  

It may be that my only recourse is the NO JUNK MAIL sticker and then I would have to embark on a campaign to get that enforced, it would seem..  
Further reading:

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