Saturday, November 27, 2010

How many is too many?

Forty three catalogs in one week – that was finally our limit. I know we’re closing in on the season to be jolly and full of goodwill but this is just making me more of a curmudgeon than usual. Imagine the cost, time, ink, trees and pollution related to the production of these slick pieces of junk mail – not to mention the landfill impacts.

So last week, after hearing an ad on NPR, we decided Catalog Choice ( was worth a try. The idea is that through this one central website you can “opt-out of unwanted advertising materials”. The basic service is free and it’s fairly easy as long as you have the catalog mailing label. Don’t expect instant results. It’s a slow process but we are getting some confirmations that the scheme does work.

On the other hand, I’ve heard the opinion that these catalogs are important for retail sales and provide jobs for marketers, advertisers, designers, postal employees, paper manufacturers, printers, etc. Could it be that mail order catalogs are the secret to stimulating an economic recovery? Is it worth the risk? Yes.

A. Reader

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