Now this is a first - us quoting the Daily Mail.
But I first became aware of this particular story whilst listening to BBC radio 1. The news item was that a Welsh postman had been suspended from work for misconduct - for - delivering to all the housholds on his route a form that would enable them to stop JUNK MAIL.
The furore follows Royal Mail's decision to suspend a postman who tried to help people who are fed up with junk mail.
Roger Annies, 48, sent a letter to customers in Barry, South Wales explaining how they could opt out of receiving the mailshots by filling out a form. He has been suspended on full pay pending an inquiry into alleged misconduct. Spurred on by his example, thousands of householders tried yesterday to sign up to the postal giant's opt-out service.
But as their phone hotline went into meltdown it emerged that even if they are successful in signing up, there is a substantial catch.
The catch is apparently that the post office cannot seperate all junk mail from important government information that needs to be posted to households.
Bullshit. The post office will have segmented the country into ABCD and E's - Direct Mail will be targeted to particular geographic locations and income levels. And the post office will have a presentation and data demonstrating the financial benefit of direct mail.
If you ask to opt out, you are sent a letter by Royal Mail which warns that it wants you to be 'fully aware of the implications.'
It says: 'It is not possible for us to separate advertising material and information that you may want, such as leaflets from Central and Local Government and other public bodies.
Oh come on!!!!!!!
But there is more :-)
Consumer groups insist customers must have the right to opt out, without being kept in the dark about Government information.
It could include anything from vital information about changes to rubbish collection times to Home Office handouts about dealing with a terrorist threat.
So we have to keep receiving dead trees just in case there might be vital information about a terrorist threat? Yawn.
Junk mail is a vital and rapidly-growing part of Royal Mail's business - and it is set to get even bigger. Last year, it delivered a record 3.3 billion items through its door-to-door service, a rise of 12.1 per cent on the previous year.
At present, there is a strict limit that it cannot deliver more than three items of junk mail every week to each of the 27 million households in Britain. But this limit will go in the next few months, depending on negotiations with the Communication Workers Union.
Sadly the article points out that if the post office does not do it - then their rivals will.
The madness is that junk mail is exactly that. Whilst the the reality is that more and more people are going online to search for the information they want - so why on earth should junk mail be increasing?
The internet is ripping the heart out of unwanted messaging - because we are now in control of inormation and the information we want to consume.
From a standing start, online players have shot from winning £200m of the £14.1bn spent on UK advertising in 2001 to £1.3bn of the £15.3bn spent last year, according to the Advertising Association. That's from 1.4% to 8.5% of the market. In the same period, TV advertising has gone from £3.5bn to £3.8bn, but the proliferation of channels means the networks are having a tough time, as evidenced by the travails of ITV.
According to a recent study by one of the world's biggest media buyers, GroupM, online advertising will account for 13.3% of all advertising this year - stripping out direct marketing. This is up from 9.8% in 2005 and for the first time beating national newspapers' share.
The European Interactive Advertising Association reckons that of the 54.5 hours a week the average Brit spent watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers and magazines and surfing the web last year, 10.7 hours were spent online. That means 20% of all media time attracted only 9.8% - or 8.5% using the Advertising Association's figures - of advertising cash. And in the crucial 16- to-34-year-old bracket, the figure for online usage is much, much higher.
So that is an ironic joke - internet consumption up - advertising down - junk mail not read - but increasing - cooool
Now back to the daily mail and another joke
One of Royal Mail's biggest rivals, TNT Post, which does not have an opt out service, insisted yesterday that junk mail is popular in some households.
Its almost as good as - Man walks into a bar..... OUCH!
Yes we wait for the junk mail - we dream of the junk mail - we yearn for mountains of junk mail - to discuss it over the family meal table and with our friends at work
"hey did you see that really cool piece of junk mail from fatty freddies burger bar? Man I read it cover to cover"
I find it fascinating - that so many companies have not woken up to the fact that PUSH media is OLD WORLD not NEW WORLD. NEW WORLD is engagment and all about attraction - search and valubale information.
I feel sorry for the poor old posty who thought he was doing a good thing for his community.
How about this for a question - who found out about the postman Roger Annies who sent the letter to all in his post round? Was it the post office? Was it he customer service dept that then informaed superiors? Or, was it companies that were paying large sums of money to spam various communities and households??
As I was once told – being right is not always the right thing to do.
However, the erosion in the trust of organisations is not something to be taken lightly.
I am all for efficiency but surely if a postman trying to do his best, gets suspended for wanting to do the right thing, we have to admit someting is very wrong.
The Daily Mail comments section, has one person commenting
I think its very cheeky and the opt out policy should actually be opt-in.
When people spam your email they can be arrested and charged. Perhaps this is no differnet and the Royal Mail should seriously look at their policy of spamming by default.
They certainly spam more people than any spammer I have heard of.
Cheeky indeed...My pennyworth it is engagement not unwnated messaging that will drive the companies of tommorow. Postman Roger Annies is a local hero