A large fluorescent strip (colours vary) with NO JUNK MAIL in capital letters is very hard to miss, especially as it is stuck on the letterbox flap itself.
Walking down a residential street in Battersea, London, it seems to me that every other letterbox has one of these glaring bands stuck to it. If I can see them from the street, junk mail deliverers certainly can too. It is supposed to spare them an unnecessary trip up the garden path. But does it?
Certainly not. Fluorescent sticker or not, the flyers are deposited, often through a letter flap bearing the instructions to not deliver.
From my desk looking out on the street, I notice the frequency of deliveries of that unsolicited, undesired advertising. There are about five distributions throughout the day; Sunday a little less.
In the house where I am staying, the clinking of the metal garden gate alerts me to the latest flyer.
Today alone we have had pieces advertising Chinese food, pizzas, cleaners, gardeners and home insurance; all harmless enough. What I can’t understand is why people resent junk mail? Some of them are expensive, high gloss sheets. I look forward to browsing through the latest additions every day. There may be something of interest to me, and there was the day I needed a hairdresser. Admittedly, most of this marketing detritus ends up in the paper bin ready to be recycled but I do not find it offensive. To the contrary, the elderly might appreciate being kept in the loop of local life.
I think it is safe to say that the companies paying for the distribution of their flyers have weighed up the cost effectiveness of the exercise. They have to have enough returns to make it worth their while.
The student, the foreigner, the person in between jobs who delivers the advertising, make up part of that economy, as do the printers who make the flyers. Thanks to the latest leaflet, more customers buying pizzas means more people employed to produce them and to deliver them. As with any business, there is a knock on/domino effect.
In fact, without Junk Mail this would be a duller world. I wouldn’t have written a blog about it.