Fire the World Wildlife Fund’s direct mail firm

Going through a bunch of mail just now, I opened a full letter-sized envelope from the World Wildlife Fund — the people with the black and white panda logo working for years to save wildlife habitat around the world. On the envelope: “Your free all-occasion gift wrap is enclosed.”Normally I receive address labels or a free calendar to guilt me into making a contribution, which seems wasteful, but at least these items are mildly useful on a regular basis. This was the first time a charity sent me a small stack of colored paper to use on the few occasions I have to wrap gifts — and, apparently, to replace the old newsprint wrappings that had been working just fine for me. But the uselessness of wrapping paper isn’t the point.The point is that this short stack of heavily inked paper came to me from an environmental organization which seems to be confused about its mission. The enclosed letter cites logging as a top reason why WWF’s own mascot, the giant panda, is under the threat of extinction. So its answer is to fire up the paper mill for millions of sheets of additional paper to send this message to [tens of?] thousands of individuals, more than 95% of whom are likely to toss this straight into their trash (assuming a successful response rate of ~3%).Sure, the wrapping paper is printed on recycled stock (percentage not shown, but it’s unlikely to be 100%), but why is WWF adding unnecessarily to the increasing global demand for paper? Surely they had alternative options for this solicitation. I can’t imagine that the bloated landfills where half of this wrapping paper is going is working to save wildlife habitat, save for some seagulls. And let’s not even venture to guess how much carbon dioxide was released to print up the paper used for this mailing. The first victims of global warming will be those creatures living in the habitat that WWF is seeking to protect in tropical, developing nations around the globe.I don’t care how many people use the gift-wrap to send a message to their friends and family about the importance of supporting WWF or how many new gifts it encourages. There’s no way that WWF wins with this mailing.President Carter Roberts, I can’t imagine you’re as short-sighted as the vendor who produced this piece of mail for you, so I suggest you take a closer look at what’s going out under your name.Happy Earth Day!UPDATE: You can send a message to WWF via their ‘pledge to make change’ Earth Day campaign if you’re so inclined. Here’s a screenshot of what i just posted:

6 thoughts on “Fire the World Wildlife Fund’s direct mail firm

  1. Your reaction to the mailing is a good example of individuals making a difference. Such actions help to spred some optimism that the world will wake up to its problems. Incidentally I didnt know it was Earth Day so the WWF still has a problem of communicating with everyone!I’ll have a look at their web site!Best wishes from the UK

  2. Do Not Mail Opt-Out Law would be fair to everyone.The proposed recent "Do not mail" is an Opt-Out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt-out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing – and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?I do not consider handling unwanted advertising placed against my will on my personal property to be a civic obligation! The US Supreme Court said in the Rowan case in 1970, ““In today’s [1970] complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today’s merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman’s mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.” Furthermore, the Supreme Court said, “the mailer’s right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer. To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail.” We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders the aforementioned affirmative notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.,Ramsey A Fahel

  3. FYI, Ramsey, almost all of the "Do Not Mail" legislation that has been proposed in various states exempts non-profits from the restrictions. In all likelihood, the campaign you cite would have no impact on WWF’s mailings.

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