If you don’t want it, just send it back…

So Richard West can’t understand how an industry that creates and delivers nothing more than “junk” can survive and grow (MW April 10). Let me start by saying that, as managing director of a direct marketing company, board member of the Direct Marketing Association and veteran of more than 20 years in the industry, I couldn’t agree more.

Nothing makes me angrier than consumers’ increasing hostility towards direct mail, because I know it is the result of clients’ efforts to drive prices into the ground, irrespective of what this does to the quality of data; and of agencies which would rather take on a job at no profit just so they can keep the doors open or the presses running a little longer in the hope that they’ll hang on until the real money arrives.

Consumers don’t want piles of badly targeted mail on their doormats, any more than they want their public spaces cluttered by irrelevant or intrusive advertising messages. And it’s up to everyone in the industry – clients and agencies – to meet the standards of good practice established by the DMA.

And if West wants to be part of the solution rather than a noisy element within the problem, the next time that piece addressed to a previous resident arrives, he should simply write on the envelope: “Return to sender – addressee gone away” and put it back in the post. Any decent company would amend its lists accordingly.

Peter Phillips

Managing director

Hexfax

London NW6

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