Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of March 3, 2008
Red Dot can blot out unwanted junk mail
Marketing companies devise a new way of doing business
By SUZANNE ELSTON
Over the years, I'd come to the conclusion that there were actually three things I couldn't avoid: Death, taxes and junk mail. My kitchen counters were full of the stuff, burying the bills that I should have paid until after their due date, filling my blue box until it runneth over and otherwise cluttering up my life.
Apparently, I'm not alone in my dislike of unsolicited mail. According to the Canadian Marketing Association, a whopping 67 per cent of Canadians are not interested in flyers and advertising that comes in the mail and a quarter of us discard them without even reading them.
Fortunately, thanks to something called the Red Dot Campaign, my credit rating and kitchen counter may soon be saved. And, as an added bonus, I will be able to reduce my greenhouse gas emissions in the process.
No Admail Please
Launched last month, the Red Dot Campaign promises to rid us all of unwanted ad mail. According to the Red Dot website, "The Red Dot Campaign provides consumers with a simple action they can take to reduce carbon emissions. Simply by putting a signed letter in your mail box, and leaving a 'No Admail Please' sign on your box, Canada Post will not deliver any unaddressed marketing material."
What's intriguing about the Red Dot Campaign is that it wasn't launched by an environmental group or citizens' advocacy organization. Red Dot is actually the brainchild of three social marketing companies that want nothing less than to change the way we do business.
Ecoeco's mandate is to provide innovative marketing strategies that will positively impact our economy, ecology and the community.
Buddha Branding offers web, print and fashion marketing expertise. Squint Creative is a small Vancouver-based creative studio that supports the creative endeavours of its community by providing professional, affordable web production services.
By launching the Red Dot Campaign, these leading edge marketers have staked their reputations on the belief that there is a better, more sustainable way to sell goods and services.
"If enough of us say No!" states the Red Dot website, "advertisers may take notice and find more environmentally-friendly ways to reach their customers."
To find out if Red Dot could actually transform my life, I visited the website. The good news is that it really is as simple as it sounds.
The first step is to print out the "No Junk Mail" letter that's available online, sign it and ask your mail carrier to deliver it to Canada Post.
Secondly, print out the "No Junk Mail" sign and attach it to your mailbox or mail slot.
The bad news is that this will only stop unaddressed ad mail that's delivered by Canada Post. Ridding yourself of all of the personalized mail that you receive takes a little more work and a lot more patience.
You can begin the process by contacting the Canadian Marketing Association (CMA) and adding your name to the "Do Not Contact Registry."
This registry will not only stop addressed ad mail, but can also cut down on those unwanted telemarketing calls that always arrive during dinner and those equally annoying faxes that fill up your in-tray and use up all your paper.
It's important to make sure that you provide the CMA with all the possible variations of your name as it has appeared on junk mail in the past, including stuff that is misspelled, for example: Ms. Sally Smith, Mrs. S. Smith, Sally Ann Smith, or S.A. Smyth or Symthe, or whatever.
You get the idea.
Be patient. Since marketers often buy their lists months in advance, it will take awhile for the deluge of mail to trickle down to the point where you can actually find your kitchen counter again.
As for greenhouse gas reductions, manufacturing paper, driving it to your mailbox, picking it up in your blue box and recycling it all takes energy, which ultimately translates into carbon dioxide emissions.
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