Home Blogs Diary 2018 06

The end of the Royal Junk Mail blog

10th June 2018

Since the start of 2011 I've published all unaddressed mail items delivered to me by my postie on my Royal Junk Mail blog. I've missed out on the odd junk mail delivery – I know because there are a few missing editions of the Your Norfolk propaganda magazine – but I got some junk mail most weeks. That changed late February when my regular postie was replaced by various stand-in posties. The new posties either respect the anti-junk mail sign on my door or they simply don't bother delivering junk mail. Either way, I've received very little Royal Junk Mail since my postie disappeared, which makes the Royal Junk Mail blog not all that useful. I've therefore stopped scanning my junk mail deliveries.

The aim of the blog was to get an idea of what sort of junk mail is delivered by Royal Mail. Of course, my findings aren't in any way scientific but I'll share them with you anyway:

  • When I first started this blog Virgin Media was by far the biggest junk mail offender. Interestingly, they stopped door-drop campaigns in April 2015. Domino's Pizza has taken over as the primary junk mailer.
  • In 2011, Royal Mail was making lots of noise about sustainable door-to-door deliveries. Very few junk mailers have joined the scheme.
  • In 2011, Royal Mail was aiming to increase the amount of leaflets it was delivering. The previous year the "three items per household per week" cap had been lifted and the Daily Fascist predicted that householders were facing a tidal wave of junk mail. The amount of leaflets distributed by Royal Mail has stayed below three items per household per week.
  • Royal Mail was trying to boost its junk mail deliveries by taking business from local delivery companies. Traditionally, the company has delivered leaflets for large companies that target the whole country rather than a specific geographical area. I've noticed the odd advert for local companies but the vast majority of leaflets are still for companies like Domino's Pizza, Farmfoods and the Co-op.
  • Non-commercial leaflets are fairly rare. In my case most non-commercials items came from Norfolk County Council, which produces a regular Your Norfolk magazine containing good news stories about Norfolk County Council. Other non-commercial items were mostly so-called "election communications", which aren't covered by the opt-out scheme (i.e. they are delivered to all households, including those registered with Royal Mail's opt-out scheme). Royal Mail's warning that you may miss "important information" when you opt-out appears to be designed to discourage householders from signing up to its opt-out scheme.
  • For whatever reason there are people who don't like junk mail but don't mind unsolicited begging letters from charities. Roughly one in ten leaflets I received were from charities, and I noticed the number of appeals decreased in 2017. I guess this is because some media outlets finally dared to report the overly aggressive marketing tactics deployed by most large charities (the ones that spend huge amounts of money on fundraising and who tweak their financial reports to make it look like money spend on marketing is money spend on the actual cause. If you care about charities, just pick a few you want to support. Don't respond to begging letters from random charities ‐ it only help to normalise the practise.
Last updated: 
4th January 2019