We have only been here a few weeks but have already seen what New Zealand has to offer in the direct mail industry.
The biggest problem I see here is the hand delivered unaddressed flyers, or circulars as they are called here, from advertisers such as KMart, The Warehouse, Mitre10, local newspapers, grocery shops and other major retailers.
Here’s how it works, the retailer will hire a direct marketer to deliver circulars (nothing unusual), then the direct marketer will hire hand deliverers such as mums at home, students, etc.. who need a few extra bucks and “want to get fit” to deliver them to mail boxes in demographic areas. I see these people walking the streets with baby strollers and shopping trolleys full of circulars. The only way to ensure you do not receive these kinds of circulars is to put a sticker on your mailbox that says “No Junk Mail” or “No Circulars”. This works.
A company in New Zealand, also based in Christchurch, called LetterBoxer.org.nz gets volunteers together to go around the streets and give out No Junk Mail stickers for mailboxes. The stickers are free and paid for by city and regional councils like Environment Canterbury.
The other kind of junk mail I have seen so far is from companies that most people have business relationships with, such as banks, insurance, university Alumni, etc… sound familiar?! I have not seen many catalogs as yet, just a few, but to be honest I haven’t been shopping much yet! I know they are around but not to any extent like the USA.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs in NZ also acknowledges the use of these signs on mailboxes. A section at the bottom of this article indicates that a company has created a “Do Not Mail” list you can add your name to called the Name Removal Service. Consumers can write to the Marketing Association (oh, BTW, previously known as the DMA!) and add their names to the list which in turn reduces the number of unsolicited calls and mailings. Who would have thought, the DMA’s Mail Preference Suppression list all over again. FYI, they do note that “… it will not stop communications from organisations with which you have an existing relationship, e.g. your bank, your lawyer, etc.” I would also assume, which they fail to mention, is that you will only be removed from members mailing lists as it is a members based service!
I find it interesting that no matter where you go the system is pretty much the same, in NZ it is on a much smaller scale however.
Write To: Name Removal Register, Marketing Association, P O Box 47681, Ponsonby, Auckland. You can also register online.