'Do Not' Law Targets Direct Mail
SPRINGFIELD, IL—Direct mail could take a hit in the state of Illinois with a proposed law aimed at placing restrictions on so-called "junk mail." The state's general assembly has introduced house bill 4539, the Restricted Mailing Registry Act. Like the "Do Not Call" registry, the proposed legislation would create an opt-out list for those who do not wish to receive literature through the mail. Exceptions would be granted for current customers, nonprofits and real estate companies, among others.
The registry, which would be established and operated by the state's commerce commission, would levy fines to those companies that break the law. However, the law would only have jurisdiction over Illinois businesses, unlike the federal "Do Not Call" registry.
The bill, which has been referred to the rules committee, was introduced by D-Rep. Careen Gordon. She told the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier that the idea occurred to her in light of complaints from the elderly about deceptive junk mail. D-Rep. Lisa Dugan, bill co-sponsor, told the paper that she had also received complaints from the elderly, and said the bill's intent is to smoke out "misleading, false ads," and not legitimate advertisements.
The interpretation of what constitutes a legitimate ad as opposed to one meant to deceive recipients, could make the bill's passage a challenge.