From One Liberal to Another, Shame on You: 10 Flaws in the Latest Do-Not-Mail Initiative
This response was even more vague, so I tried to corner him one more time, but it was strike three: “As a grass roots group,” he said in his e-mailed reply, “we are fueled by volunteers, foundations, and individual donors the vast majority of which are very interested in this campaign. There is no telling how much money or how many people will end up supporting this initiative and these predictions are harder when you consider we are in Day 1 of the campaign but I will be happy to update you when we have actual figures.”
“Day 1?” This was the first day ForestEthics had even thought of doing this? And it had already garnered 18,000 online signatures in its petition? (See www.ForestEthics.org) I’d say this has been in the works for quite some time. Certainly this group must have some sort of budget.
Flaw 7: Paul Hawken
Many of us who’ve been in the catalog/multichannel world for more than decade remember Paul Hawken for co-founding the Smith & Hawken gardening tools catalog in 1979. Per the above promotion showing Hawken on board as a major driver behind this effort, he’d naturally rather be known for what he’s done since leaving what ForestEthics would probably refer to as a “junk mail company” in 1991. He’s written many books, given numerous speeches around the world and is the ultimate environmentalist. In fact, Smith & Hawken’s mantra was always to sell handmade, environmentally friendly tools.
Ah, but those tools continue to be sold through the millions of catalogs Smith & Hawken continues to mail out today. What’s more, and I don’t mean to trash Paul Hawken at all, he also sits on boards of many environmental groups, at least one of which (The Whole Earth Catalog) sells its goods via catalog. When I saw his name tied to this initiative, I requested an interview with Hawken for this column, but never got a response from ForestEthics’ PR rep. Layin’ low?