Story: Advertising

Junk mail

Junk mail

Jimmy McGuinness sits amid the estimated 1,500 pieces of junk mail that were delivered to his home in 1995. During the 1980s and 1990s there was an increase in the volume of both addressed and unaddressed advertising material arriving in his letterbox. The Privacy Act 1993 made it more difficult to send addressed mail, since organisations were forbidden to give out addresses for purposes for which they had not obtained a person’s permission. There was also a growing hostility to junk mail, and many people put notices on their mailbox requesting, ‘No junk mail’.

Jimmy McGuinness was an ardent junk-mail hater and collected the material for a year to make his point about the quantity of unsolicited advertising. Since 1995 the percentage of advertising spend on both addressed and unaddressed mail has fallen.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Dominion Post Collection (PAColl-7327)
Reference: EP/1995/4462/35
Photograph by Phil Reid

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Advertising - Marketing and regulation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 October 2022)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 11 Mar 2010