Is junk mail really just junk?

Posted on: 29 November, 2009 | Tagged as: ,

Singaporeans annoyance with flyers and junk mail being put up at their front doors has been a perennial issue in public housing living. Unlike in our story where resident Teo came up with a creative response to the issue, this writer to Today’s Voices page has had less success with her efforts.

Indeed, flyers can be an annoying problem to residents, but we’ll like to add context to the whole issue by looking at it from the advertiser’s perspective too. From those we spoke to for our story, distributing flyers is a cheap and creative response to get their messages out. Unlike big companies, they do not have the resources to advertise at “legitimate” places like newspapers.

They used to be able to drop flyers into mailboxes, but this came to a stop in 1996 when the new “anti-junk mail” letterboxes were introduced into our public housing estates. Since then, what has happened seems to be this: shut out from the mailboxes they turn to placing their flyers at your doorstep instead. Moreover, Singpost now has monopolised access to the mailboxes and has since set up a direct marketing arm to profit from it.

Perhaps what is needed is an open platform that is accessible to anyone. Just like noticeboards found at some of our train stations, how about putting these up at public housing lift landings too? They should be left open for residents and advertisers to put up advertisements and notices.