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Junk mail hypocrisy

I recently wrote a very cynical column about direct mail being one of The Government’s cash cows


As a nice little earner, I’d be shocked if it doesn’t end up being the verylast direct marketing channel standing – whilst all other forms get legislated away.

Yes, it’s a view that flies in the face of the ‘death of direct mail’ obituaries but with even junk mail now on the rise (not that it ever went away – some industries just had less money to throw at it) as a revenue generator – am I the only cynic?  Why have unaddressed mail (i.e. junk mail) delivered to your door three days a week when six days will do nicely!  And when the boot comes into the direct marketing industry for annoying people with mountains of mail, who should they blame, complain or cry to – government?

Err, no.  Time and time again the direct marketing industry has kept quiet about bad practice and allowed untargeted direct marketing to continue.  There’s never been much of a stick to stop it, just a carrot to encourage the industry to toe the line.  Looking for a B2B example – Corporate Telephone Preference Service anyone!  

In all the reports about the Royal Mail changes, unaddressed junk mail to businesses didn’t get so much as a look in.  A‘no junk mail’ sticker on the door won’t do the trick nor a‘we hate junk but love targeted, personalised direct mail’ policy unless its enforced.  If it isn’t, and marketers now take the opportunity to send a little more unaddressed mail at least don’t be hypocrites about it.  Don’t complain about bad practice, don’t moan about government, perhaps instead stand up against it and shout more loudly for the stick to come down on those that are firmly in the junk camp.

Test yourself on the Royal Mail changes: seven questions onjunk mail.