Survey Finds Majority of Americans Support "Do Not Mail"
December 4, 2012 -- A Privacy and Advertising Mail survey by UC Berkeley School of Law finds the majority of Americans support a Do Not Mail (DNM) initiative. The national data shows 81% of respondents support the creation of a service similar to the popular Do Not Call registry.
The survey asked, "Some people think there should be a system like the National Do Not Call list that would help reduce the amount of advertisements you receive in your postal mailbox. Would you strongly support, support, oppose, or strongly oppose the creation of such a system?" The survey avoided any mention of “privacy” as a value, in order to avoid biasing the question in favor of a connection between advertising mail and privacy.
Source: Privacy and Advertising Mail survey by UC Berkeley School of Law
- The survey finds that 43% would “strongly support” a do-not mail system, 38% would “support” it and 17% would oppose or strongly oppose it.
- The authors recoded the responses to a binary variable by combining the “strongly support” and “support” groups and the “oppose” and “strongly oppose” groups. When combined in this way, support for DNM proved to remain constant across all income groups, all age groups, all educational levels, and across all political ideologies (very conservative to very liberal).
- "Americans may view advertising mail as a privacy issue because of database activities underlying the targeting of mail. They also may dislike the sense of intrusion created when advertising material flows into the home," said co-author Jennifer M. Urban, assistant clinical professor of law.
- The paper states "although the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has operated a self-regulatory opt-out system since 1971, the "Mail Preference Service," only blocks only about 1 percent of advertising mail." (Source: DMA, DMACHOICE FAQS 2012)
- In addition, the authors state: "Given the importance of advertising mail as an industry, and of the USPS to United States economic, security, and social interests, our findings could serve as a wake-up call to markets, the USPS, and regulators to more fully explore citizens’ rejection of direct advertising mail and find ways to address their concerns while preserving the fundamental service provided by the USPS."
About: The Berkeley Consumer Privacy Survey obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,203 U.S. adult Internet users living. The response rate for the landline samples was 16 percent. The response rate for the cellular samples was 14 percent. Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from January 27-February 12, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is ± 3.4 percentage points.
Source: UC Berkeley Law School, Survey Finds Americans Support “Do Not Mail,” December 4, 2012.
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