Saturday, January 31, 2015

"No junk mail" means "No junk mail" but "junk mail" means "junk mail"

With the general election coming this year there's going to be a lot of leaflets flying about. And they often generate complaints about delivery... in both directions.

Activists in all political parties I've spoken to report the same things - people complaining about receiving political leaflets when they have a sign up saying "No junk mail" but also people complaining about not receiving them when they have such a sign up. This is because of what the term does and doesn't cover.

To cut to the chase the term "junk mail" covers unsolicited commercial material but not non-commercial political communications. As a result many homes that have clear signs up that say "No junk mail" also have signs saying "No leaflets" or "No circulars" or "No unaddressed mail" or "Posted mail only" or "Royal Mail only" or some such. This covers political leaflets in a way that "No junk mail" doesn't.

Consequently most deliverers will post political leaflets through letterboxes that have signs that say "No junk mail" because they're not "junk mail". If a person does not wish to receive them they will need a sign that covers them.


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