Magazine article Marketing

Chiefs Challenge Mailshot Tax

Magazine article Marketing

Chiefs Challenge Mailshot Tax

Article excerpt

Chiefs challenge mailshot tax

Direct marketing chiefs meet next week to counter the Government threat of a "waste tax" on mailshots. They are treating seriously environment secretary Chris Patten's spotlight on direct mail as an activity with hidden environmental costs which may require government intervention. (Marketing, June 28).

British Direct Marketing Association (BDMA) director Colin Fricker says the meeting will be a "brain storming session" which may be the first of several.

"We know Patten was flying a kite but we take his threat seriously and want to come up with an original and reasoned response that is not negative. It is an opportunity to portray the activity as a caring one. This thing has evinced a lot of interest," Fricker says.

Patten is working on a government white paper on the environment for this autumn.

Writing in a political journal last month Patten hit at "junk mail" because he believes its disposal is a social cost which escapes the market price-mechanism.

If direct mailers had to take account of the cost of disposing of their literature, some of them might reasses their activities, Patten said, adding that other countries tax products which create problems for waste management. …

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