i'm not the type who normally goes writing letters of complaint to national companies, but i was super-ticked about some mail i received today from old navy. they sent me a plastic bag as part of their "stuff & save" promotion. it came inside of a fold-out marketing piece. so annoying, because i've done so great at refusing bags wherever i shop, even if it means carrying an armful of stuff (plus baby) out to my car. and since i personally don't plan on shopping at old navy anytime soon, this bag will certainly go to waste. it's not even the kind you can line a trash can with, either.
now, i'm only one person, but i guarantee you old navy sent these bags out to hundreds of thousands of people. how many will get used? how many will get tossed away?
so, in the heat of my frustration (and because lucy happened to be taking a blissful, 2-hour nap), i wrote them a letter. here it be!
To Whom It May Concern:
In a time when it seems that many major companies are ramping up their attempt to “go green,” I must say that I am extremely disappointed in the marketing technique of sending out plastic bags to homes across America for your “Stuff & Save” promotion. My goal is to tread lightly on the planet, for both my generation and those to follow. The fact that I have personally made a commitment to resist plastic bags while shopping has today been trumped by your thoughtless mass marketing. It seems that your company is without concern for the detrimental impact that its actions will have on our environment.
As a copywriter working for a national retailer, I am aware of the massive amount of marketing collateral sent out across the country by any single company. A large percentage of this material is never opened but tossed immediately upon receipt. This means that thousands upon thousands of plastic bags will be needlessly discarded soon, never having served any purpose at all, because of your blatant irresponsibility. I’m sure that you’re aware that in the vast majority of communities across America, plastic bags are not considered recyclable.
Since it’s obvious that the “Stuff & Save” promotion is really just an offer of 20% off a total purchase (no stuffable bag is needed for online shopping, and I have personally used this discount in years past without a stuffable bag), why not go about marketing this discount in another, more eco-friendly way? Customers could bring in their own bags for additional savings, or reusable “stuff” bags could be available at stores. If your marketing team put a “green” spin on a revised program, Old Navy could help to set a standard for other retailers in the industry, instead of appearing thoughtless in the face of an ever-growing crisis. Please consider making a change, and respecting the wishes of your eco-conscious customers.
I welcome any response.
i'll of course let you know if i get a response (yeah right). but it felt good to get it off of my chest.