As serendipity would have it, the day after writing this post about the need for more industry people to speak up in defense of direct mail, I attended ALC’s For Brokers Only luncheon (a delightful event with fantastic food, great company and a worryingly close encounter with the sparkliest ballroom dancers I ever saw) and heard Donn Rappaport, CEO of ALC as well as this year’s DMA chairman, talk about this very subject.
During his speech, Rappaport revealed that the DMA has corralled a bunch of “celebrity” spokespeople – high-profile retail CEOs and the like – to help educate consumers why a do-not-mail bill will be harmful, and to put some of the environment facts and figures into perspective. This is a vital effort, as proved in our DMNews/Pitney Bowes survey on Direct Mail and the Environment (pdf) last December, which revealed that 48.4% of the consumers we polled thought that advertising mail accounted for 53% of total municipal waste. (If I were the type to use exclamation points, I would have added one there. It’s a shocking figure.)
More details of the DMA’s campaigns will be forthcoming. But it’s refreshing to hear the likes of Rappaport acknowledge that perhaps the DMA hasn’t been as proactive as it could be on this matter, and that its leadership cannot do this alone.