As you may have noticed, we have a love/hate relationship with catalogs. But, reports BusinessWeek, an activist Web site called Catalog Choice offers a free service: Sign up and stop receiving paper catalogs you just don't want. The organization claims you can reduce your junk mail while simultaneously helping the environment, but when it contacted companies like L.L. Bean, Williams-Sonoma and Harry & David and asked them to take thousands of people off of their mailing lists, the retailers pretty much ignored the request. Catalog Choice launched on October 9 and says it has signed up 300,000-plus people, each of whom declined to receive an average of 12 catalogs. The companies might be spooked: The Direct Marketing Association held a "catalog summit" on December 17, warning attendees about activist groups and advising them "not to encourage" the anti-paper people.
The DMA has its own opt-out service but it requires users to submit a credit card number to verify their identity and costs $1. That's right — they want you to pay not to get catalogs. Victoria's Secret and J. Crew declined to comment on the BusinessWeek article — while the Harry & David spokesperson said he was too busy making sure "all of Santa's orders come through" to discuss the issue. One thing is for sure: Without receiving catalogs, we would ever have found our new boyfriend or the beloved polyester Loser throw. Would you rather save the environment or live without a RoboPanda?
Cutting the Stack of Catalogs [BusinessWeek]
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