MPs demand action on environment from DM sector

The direct mail industry needs to do more to reduce the impact of unwanted “junk” mail on the environment, according to MPs.

Research on behalf of the All Party Group on Junk Mail, found that almost three quarters (73%) of MPs do not believe the industry takes appropriate measures to mitigate the environmental impact of DM.

Almost all (97%) of the MPs polled said they receive unsolicited junk mail and have concerns about the steps taken by the industry to improve data handling and reduce the environmental impact of direct mail.

Paddy Tipping MP, chair of the group, says the findings show the industry needs to do more to improve practices.

“It is also vital that more is done to educate the public on how to manage the amount of direct mail they receive,” he says.

He adds the sector needs to improve targeting and data management.

The research, carried out by ComRes, also indicates that MPs underestimate the financial contribution of the DM sector.

It found that the majority (71%) of MPs believe direct mail contributes under £25bn to the economy, well short of its actual contribution of £43.7bn.

Robert Keitch, chief of membership and brand at the Direct Marketing Association, says the “common misconceptions” about mail need to be addressed.

“The direct marketing industry has made significant progress to improve targeting and reduce waste through initiatives such as PAS2020, the first ever environmental standard for the marketing industry, and the Mailing Preference Service which continues to play a vital role in offering consumer choice.”

ComRes surveyed 150 MPs on the ComRes parliamentary panel between 19 October and 16 November 2009 by self-completion postal questionnaire. Data was weighted to reflect the exact composition of the House of Commons in terms of party representation and regional constituency distribution.



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