The Business Council opposes this bill which would require senders of direct mail advertisements to inform recipients of the right to decline further mailings. The Business Council believes this legislation is unnecessary and unworkable for several reasons and recommends against its adoption.
- Consumers already have free options that allow them to reduce the amount of advertising mail they receive. Groups such as the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have offered services such as DMAchoice (formerly known as the Mail Preference Service/MPS), which is the official mail preference suppression service for the catalog marketing community. This free service empowers consumers to remove their names from prospecting and company-specific mailing lists. Plus, consumers have always been able to contact companies directly and ask to be removed from their mailing lists.
- This legislation hinders direct mail, posing a serious threat to jobs, commerce and the economy. In 2008, direct mail accounted for approximately 3.5 percent of total U.S. gross domestic product. Also in 2008, there were 460,000 direct mail employees in the United States. Their collective sales efforts directly supported 3.3 million other jobs, accounting for a total of more than 3.7 million U.S. jobs. Additionally, small businesses create as many as four out of every five new jobs in the United States, and more than 300,000 small businesses around the country rely on advertising mail. These are local florists, house painters, lawn and construction workers, restaurants, auto mechanics and other small stores. Many U.S. businesses got their start by direct mail enabling them to grow and employ thousands of people.
- For many small businesses mail is the most affordable, effective and efficient way to advertise. Studies show that more than 80 percent of Americans read or scan advertising mail. In fact, according to a brand-new Pitney Bowes/DMNews survey, the vast majority (85%) of consumers review their mail daily. Additionally, this same survey indicated that 78 percent of respondents said they prefer to receive coupons through the mail, versus other means such as e-mail, newspapers and web sites.
- Mail provides small businesses with a way to reach current and potential customers in a small geographic area – which is nearly impossible to do with other forms of advertising. The local pizza parlor or coffee shop wants to reach people in their neighborhood, not people on the other side of town or in the next county or the next state. Mail gives them that ability. Without mail, many of these business owners couldn't afford to advertise, which means their sales dry up, they have to lay off employees and eventually shutter their business.
The Business Council recognizes the desire of individuals to lessen the amount of paper in their mailboxes. However, we do not believe that the provisions of A.3191 are necessary or prudent to accomplish this.
For these reasons, The Business Council respectfully recommends against adoption of A.3191.