The News section was discontinued in 2013 – sadly it was too much work to cover all things junk mail.

This an minimal, read-only version of the original Stop Junk Mail website.

Home News 2010

More people are opting out

Research suggests that more than three in four people tick opt-out boxes to prevent junk mail. The Direct Marketing Association has urged marketeers not to 'cold mail' people.

The survey, conducted by the Direct Marketing Association, shows that junk mailers are finding it increasingly difficult to get people's permission to send them 'direct marketing'. Of the 1,367 people that took part in the survey, 77 per cent told the DMA that they always tick opt out boxes to prevent junk mail from organisation they don’t know. Last year, the figure was 68 per cent.

The findings of the survey, published by Marketing Week, also indicate that two-thirds of people say that don't want to be targeted by companies with whom they have no dealings; up from 63 per cent last year. A quarter of respondents said that they are opting out of receiving junk mail from companies they have dealt with in the past - up from 18 per cent last year.

Winning back trust

Although the research is not scientific, it does suggest that people are becoming more aware of the importance of ticking opt out boxes when giving their personal details to marketeers. Failing to tick opt-out boxes gives junk mailers permission to send people junk mail, and usually also allows marketeers to share or sell people's personal details with other organisations. In particular charities have been criticised for selling mailing lists.

The Direct Marketing Association suspects that the increase in the number of people that tick opt-out boxes is the result of "well-publicised instances of data breaches and the mishandling of personal information by large organistions". To win back trust the representative of bulk mailers is urging marketeers to "only communicate with those consumers that have expressed an interest in their products or services".

Stop Junk Mail takes a more radical position and would like to see all opt-out boxes replaced by opt-in boxes. The campaign group argues that people more often than not fail to tick opt-out boxes because they are too small, and often hidden in small print. Replacing opt-out boxes with opt-in boxes would make it more likely that people make an informed decision about receiving unsolicited mail.


Last updated: 
14th May 2011