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35% rise in junk mail in 10 years

“Stop Pub” notices do work - but only 9% of households in France have them, consumer watchdog says

MORE junk mail and advertising material is being pushed into French mail boxes than ever, according to a study.

UFC-Que Choisir said that the amount of “pub” coming through our letter boxes has risen 35% in 10 years, despite the development of internet advertising and the recession in the advertising market.

But the “Stop Pub” sticker does work, the consumer watchdog said. A study in April found that households with mail boxes that bear the sticker received 12 items of unaddressed “pub” material, compared to 72 pieces for households without it.

But, UFC-Que Choisir said, only 9% of households in France have the notice, even though the campaign has been running since 2004.

It said that 1.8bn leaflets - or 69,200 tonnes of paper - were distributed across France in April alone. The latest available figures reveal that 773,000 tonnes of unaddressed publicity material were delivered in 2011.

It called for advertisers who ignored the sticker to be penalised.

The consumer watchdog’s study in April - in which 748 volunteers in 59 departments monitored their junk mail - found that 69% of publicity material came from supermarkets, DIY / gardening centres and furniture stores, with Carrefour group, Leclerc and Système U the most prolific in the month.

Between 2004 and 2008, 6 million free “Stop Pub” stickers were sent out, but the campaign has fallen down the list of government priorities and people today do not know how to get one.

To download a “Stop Pub” notice, click here.


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