Hawaii Lawmaker Introduces Do-Not-Mail Resolution

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A Hawaii state representative introduced resolutions urging the U.S. Congress to approve legislation requiring the U.S. Postal Service to provide mail recipients the option to stop receiving unsolicited commercial mail.

Three other states have introduced DNM legislation this year: New York, Illinois and Missouri.

Hawaii state Rep. Lyla B. Berg introduced the resolutions in the state House and Senate on March 15. The legislation is purported to shield vulnerable citizens such as children and the elderly from mail scams or unwanted solicitations, including sexually oriented advertising.

The USPS has addressed some of these concerns by creating and implementing Form 1500, the legislation said, but it's limited in scope and should be expanded "to include non-sexual advertisements, including sweepstakes, promotions and other mail scams."

"This really got started from one of our constituents when her father had passed away," Berg said. "When she had gone through his files, she realized that he had given out his credit card and had been subject to a lot of scams out there. She wanted us to introduce this measure that would give people the option to get off the mailing list and at least help the children of people who may not always be coherent and cognizant of what they are doing."

Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president of government affairs at the Direct Marketing Association, said such a list isn't needed because the DMA already has one that people can sign up for if they do not want to receive such mail. In addition, because of Form 1500, "the postal service has a list of people who do not want to receive sexually oriented advertisements, and people who send out this type of mail have to get this list before sending it out. If you extend that to any kind of mail, the expense -- and the expense to the government in particular -- will be overwhelming. ... It becomes a national do-not-mail list and will deplete mail volume for the postal service."

The DMA joined a coalition last month spearheaded by the Association for Postal Commerce (Postcom) to combat movement of the growing number of state do-not-mail bills popping up this year.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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