Make Sure Direct Mail Is Targeted Properly

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I am amazed at the arrogance in Tad Clarke's editorial response to measures taken by anti-junk mail advocates ("Costly Shenanigans," Feb. 5). How dare he suggest that unsolicited (or, worse, ineffectively targeted) direct mail is justified to the consumer because "direct mail ... has subsidized First-Class mail" and by the way, "if you don't want it, don't read it."

Sorry, Tad, but that ain't good enough. As a representative of the direct marketing industry, it is our basic responsibility to make sure that direct mail is targeted utilizing the most accurate profiling possible. Clearly, not all of us are doing this, and it no doubt spurs junk-mail protests. Our target audiences deserve better.

• J. John Wynn

Director, business development


• Editor's note: Yes, our target audiences deserve better, but targeting is not always the answer (for more on that, see last week's editorial). Wynn also mistook Rich Reinhart's comments for mine, but nowhere was the conclusion drawn that "direct mail is justified" because DM has subsidized First-Class mail. The point was that direct mail is not intrusive and that it more than pays its way. The prank in question by the anti-junk mail advocates - mail-bombing banks and mortgage companies with tons of postage-paid mail in response to their solicitations - would ultimately hurt the very people who perpetrate it. - TC

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