From One Liberal to Another, Shame on You: 10 Flaws in the Latest Do-Not-Mail Initiative
Before I delve into a touchy environmental issue, let me be totally up-front about my own political views as a consumer (without my chief editor hat on): I lean heavily to the left.
I voted for Sen. Obama in the New York primary (although my finger was leaning on Sen. Clinton’s key in that booth just before it moved to Obama’s). I wanted to put that out on the table publicly, because the tone of my column might seem to go in the opposite direction. You have been warned.
That said, if I’m turning off any of our right-leaning readers, I hope you’ll understand that I’m a smack-down-the-middle independent when it comes to the catalog/multichannel business. Issues affecting catalogers rarely involve hard-core partisan politics. But the whole issue of sustainability and the environment, and how it affects catalogers, can get a bit dicey. Enough on me. Here’s what I’m presenting this week:
Flaw 1: Curiously Short Notice
I received an e-mail at 1:35 p.m. EST on March 10 alerting me that the executive director of the environmental organization ForestEthics, which maintains offices in Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Toronto; Vancouver, British Columbia and Chile, would be leading a teleconference in just 20-and-a-half hours the following morning. I was sure to call in to the conference, which the director, Todd Paglia, led along with Vermont State Rep. Christopher Pearson.
The subject? ForestEthics’ initiative to influence consumers and the federal government to create a national do-not-mail law five years to the day after the Do-Not-Call Registry became law.
The timing was dramatic, but the short notice meant that only about 20 people tuned in to it. And the presentation was hardly dramatic. Neither Paglia nor Pearson gave a particularly compelling presentation. Bottom line was fairly simple: They want to use Do Not Call as the model for a Do Not Mail.