A consumer protection bill, proposed by Maryland state delegate Tanya Shewell, could affect delivery of printed papers, magazines, booklets and circulars sent to residences in that state.
Shewell said complaints from constituents prompted House Bill 357, which would require publishers to include telephone numbers where consumers could opt out of delivery. Failure to comply would incur a daily $100 fine.
“I don’t want to hurt small businesses, but people should have the right to say, ‘I don’t want this,’” Shewell declared. “They may publish, but you don’t have to read it.”
Papers affected include The Baltimore Examiner and East County Times in Baltimore County.
Shewell said the bill is not intended to stop political fliers or similar forms of direct marketing.
The DMA is monitoring the bill, but has no plans to fight it. “Any bill that seeks to codify an opt-out requirement like this, the DMA would prefer to see the DM community be able to handle it,” said Ron Barnes, VP of state affairs for the DMA.