Do Not Mail — A New Problem for Mailers
Andersen believes the most positive elements that will emerge from the DNM dialogue are the need to find appropriate measures to protect personal data and improve address hygiene. “It’s important to remember that marketers really don’t want to mail to consumers who are not interested in their product,” he says. “On the minus side, DNM legislation would be crippling to printers, mailers and the USPS. One-third of postal revenue comes from standard/advertising mail. If this volume is reduced by such legislation, the USPS would be hard-pressed to replace that revenue in order to maintain the level of service that U.S. consumers demand.”
Is there any prospect of a federal DNM list becoming a reality? Given the problems such legislation is having at the state level, the odds are against it at this point. Andersen feels there are First Amendment and interstate commerce issues that could prove to be major roadblocks for the DNM faction. Davis points to the postal unions as being heavily involved and extremely effective in the resistance effort.
Busbee, however, warns against complacency. “Groups supporting Do Not Mail registries are modeling their efforts after the process that brought about the national Do Not Call registry, which was to work to get bills passed at the state level, with the goal of reaching a critical momentum that would prompt a federal bill,” she says.
Raymond is also wary of an end around, especially a politician who may see this as a leverage issue, an opportunity to curry favor. “My advice. . .never assume you’re safe,” he says. “My further advice—to mailers, printers and anyone linked to the industry—is to be attentive, alert, informed and prepared to respond effectively whenever anti-mail messages or proposals arise. Self-defense is always a sound practice.” PI