Environmentally Unfriendly Marketing

My associate, Wes Breazeale, took issue with a FedEx direct mail piece he (and apparently many others) received today.  Here’s his rant:

I work in sales, so naturally I have nothing against aggressive marketing.  We need it to get the job done and I appreciate a well done piece as much as the next guy.  But there are certain points where other factors seem to be more pressing than the marketing aspect and a recent mailing I received from Federal Express is a sample of marketing done poorly, at least in my opinion.

Announcing FedEx’s new ground shipping options, the piece encourages people to “share the great news” that you can now use drop boxes to drop off your packages.  I’m not sure I’m ready to call all my friends or buy the next round in honor of this exciting news, but I will tell them (and you) about why the piece really makes me angry.


The piece was akin to the omnipresent AOL cd’s sent out by the millions in that my main issue is what it is made of.  Measuring 10″ x 6″, it’s really no bigger than a large postcard, but it is made out of rather thick plastic or vinyl.  For something they must know is going to be tossed in the trash by a large number of recipients, this is a rather serious example of a corporation being completely and utterly socially unconscious.  This thing cannot be recycled, even by the most die hard recycler.  Thousands (if not millions) of these cards will fester in our dumps for centuries.  But fortunately, when future archaeologists finally unearth them, they will be able to share the news that there is a quick and easy way to ship their discoveries back to the office.


It’s frustrating that every time we take one step forward, something like this pops up that takes us one step back.”