What is Valassis? Valassis is the company responsible for the RedPlum coupon packets nearly everyone gets in their mailbox. RedPlum is usually some pieces of “newpaper” coupons stuffed with lots of loose coupons and advertising. Valassis claims they “touch” 9 out of 10 U.S. households by mail and “reach” 100 million households each week. I don’t know about all this touching and reaching but I do know I don’t want their advertising in my mailbox.
The RedPlum I’m currently holding weighs 2.8 ounces (79.4 grams). If 100 million households get one of these each week that’s 280 million ounces (7.9 million kilograms) of paper mailed out each week. The grand total for the year is a whopping 70 million pounds (31.7 million kilograms) of paper consumed just so millions of Americans can toss this stuff in the trash (or the recycle bin). And don’t forget the ink and fuel used to manufacture and distribute this disaster. Habitat loss, water pollution, carbon dioxide emissions (you know, that global climate change thing), and war over oil are just a few of the problems associated with junk mail.
All of this is just for the RedPlum packets alone. Right now I’m also holding a coupon book for McDonalds that came separately in the mail courtesy of Valassis. At 0.2 ounces (5.7 grams), it is also responsible for the damages listed above. So while Valassis’s “Shared Mail” (their name for direct marketing) service is the primary concern here, by getting off their mailing list you can also prevent other coupons and advertising from clogging your mailbox and your life.
Just follow the simple steps below if you’re ready to take some control back and not be treated as a mindless consumer.
Steps to remove your address from the Valassis mailing list (takes less than 5 minutes):
1) Go to www.valassis.com.
2) Click on the “Contact Us” link at the top right of page.
3) Select “Consumer” from the drop down selection.
4) Select “I would like to be removed from your mailing list” from the drop down selection.
5) Click the “Next” button to go to the next page.
6) On this page you can remove your address from their mailing list in three different ways. You can fill out the form online, call their Consumer Assistance Line at 800-437-0479 (8:30 am 5:00 pm EST), or mail the form to Valassis.
7) All you have to do is fill out your name and address. Make sure you type the address exactly as it is on your junk mail.
8) You have the option to give them your phone number and/or email address. I can’t think of a single good reason to do this.
9) Be sure to check the Agreement box and click the “Send” button when you are done. That’s all you have to do.
10) Note that your address will only be suppressed from their mailing list for five (5) years. So you’ll have to do this every five years or whenever you move.
11) Apparently it takes 5-6 weeks for the removal to become active. You’ll probably get some direct mail advertising from Valassis during that time.
Finally, you can always to go to www.redplum.com and print coupons for items you want for free. This allows you to save money and take back some control.
The whole concept behind direct mail advertising is that consumers will buy stuff if you put a coupon offer before them. Consumers will make a purchase even if they hadn’t wanted the item initially. You can save a lot of money by not subjecting yourself to this kind of marketing. It literally pays to not be a consumer.
Some studies have shown that the average American adult spends 70 hours each year dealing with junk mail. Removing Valassis from the equation should help reduce that number a little.
Junk mail causes numerous environmental problems. Consider that every piece of junk mail had to be manufactured, printed, and transported to you. Each piece contributes to water pollution, fossil fuel consumption, deforestation, war, habitat loss, carbon dioxide emissions, more stuff in our landfills, and toxic waste to name just a few problems.