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Two Sides Refutes Misleading Claims on BBC Panorama Program

Friday, July 08, 2011

Press release from the issuing company

London, UK – Two Sides has responded to the confusing and misleading messages in the recent BBC Panorama programme, (BBC1, 8.30, 4th July)

The graphics industry organisation believes the show gave a misleading view of the direct mail industry by relating the dangers of scam mailing to the alleged problem of supposed 'junk mail'.   

The programme, which focused on scam mailings that are sent out from fraudulent parties promising cash to vulnerable people, also looked at the role Royal Mail plays in delivering the mail; implying a connivance with scam mail which actually the Royal Mail is actively engaging to prevent.  The Direct Mail Association (DMA) has also hit back at the show for confusing matters.

Two Sides was also alarmed at the way that paper was reflected in the programme. The show was partly filmed in Cornwall and estimated that 4,000 tonnes of junk mail are ending up in the county's landfill every year and junk mail costs the UK taxpayer £50 million every year – a figure which is being disputed by the DMA and which also doesn't agree with Two Sides' figures on recycling where the industry has a good record.

Two Sides director Martyn Eustace comments: "Yet again the paper and print industry is the victim of misleading reporting. Unwanted mail is of course wasteful and the industry is fully supportive of improvements to data management and targeting which will ensure that the right and relevant mail is delivered to households. But mail is a vital channel for communication", says Eustace,"and research shows that the majority of households value their post and the daily postal service in particular.

"Paper to landfill is unnecessary - we need the fibre back", says Eustace, "Landfill issues are very important and the problem is largely in the collection streams. "We can use all the waste paper collected if recycling is improved – zero to landfill is our objective. European recycling rates for paper are close to 70% and the trend shows continuing improvement".

Two Sides asserts that the programme also failed to recognise that mail is also a very sustainable way to communicate being based on wood; one of the few truly renewable and recyclable raw materials available. It's a resource that's growing with European forests expanding by over 30 per cent since 1950, an increase of 1.5 million football pitches every year.

"Let's be fair to paper", says Eustace, "digital communication is fast and efficient, but it is incredibly energy hungry whilst paper can inform, educate and engage in a sustainable way that is still preferred by people in all age groups".


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