From One Liberal to Another, Shame on You: 10 Flaws in the Latest Do-Not-Mail Initiative
Then I took him to task to ask just what “better way” he might offer. I’d only be kidding if I were to say that Congress and the USPS Board of Governors ought to look over his answer very carefully. “This is the very beginning of the campaign,” he said. “We want to have a system in place that grants people a right that they should never have been denied: the ability to stop unwanted and annoying junk mail. And if that thin edge of the wedge presents an opportunity to broaden that concern felt by tens of millions of citizens with a plan to help the USPS evolve over time while taking care of its workers, then that starts to sound like a win-win which we would support; and a win-win solution is hopefully the outcome of the campaign and we are just getting started.”
Flaw 9: DMA Defense
A few hours after the teleconference, I chatted with Steven Berry, the DMA’s executive vice president for government affairs and corporate responsibility, who told me he listened in to the teleconference but chose not to ask any questions.
My personal feeling about the DMA’s reaction to the previous aggressive Do-Not-Mail effort, spurred by the Catalog Choice group (CatalogChoice.org), was that it was too reactionary. While lacking enough clout to get in consumers’ faces about how they could cut down on unwanted advertising mail in a non-legislative and self-regulating way, the most noteworthy thing the DMA did was to remove the $1 fee it charges consumers to get on its Mail Preference Service.
But I’m optimistic. DMA and some of its members are at least doing something about this, and Berry told me it has attempted to work with ForestEthics and Catalog Choice to work something out. “ForestEthics took sort of a tired track on this,” Berry said. “It didn’t recognize that our industry has done amazing things in the last eight to 12 months and we are, in fact, addressing many of the issues consumers want on the environment side.”