GRIEVING Australians receive a staggering 9.5 million pieces of unwanted direct mail addressed to their recently deceased loved ones.
And on top of the distress this causes, the cost to businesses is conservatively estimated at $17 million as well as generating tonnes of promotional paper material that ends up in suburban rubbish bins across the country.
Sydney leads the nation in receiving 'dead letter' direct mail with an estimated 1.97 million units each year, followed closely by Melbourne (1.74 million) and Brisbane (756, 840).
In the lead-up to the Christmas marketing assault on our letter boxes, The Australian Bereavement Register has launched an awareness campaign encouraging families and those providing bereavement services to register deaths and help stop unwanted direct mail being delivered including telemarketing and email contact.
The register 'cleans' business clients' mailing lists removing the names of those who are deceased.
The TABR was created by Conexum Data Management Services after the sudden death of a colleague. The company's directors were shocked by the volume of inappropriate mail that bombarded their colleague's family; mail that had been generated by their own data marketing industry.
The secure register is updated daily for marketers to cross-reference with their mail out lists. The marketing companies fund the service which is free to bereaved families and those providing bereavement services..
If unsolicited mail continues, TABR follows up directly with the relevant organisations on behalf of the bereaved families.
"With Australia's major promotional season on the horizon, we estimate around 1.7 million pieces of direct mail will be sent to the deceased this quarter," said Mr Glenn Harrison, TABR's Managing Director.
"There's so much to think about when a family member dies; stopping direct mail tends to be left to last - or is never dealt with. It's a challenging enough time of year when you've lost someone, let alone when you get an unexpected and unsolicited reminder of grief.
"We want to help alleviate the distress this season and at the same time empower business to cut the millions in wasted resources this season by raising awareness of The Australian Bereavement Register.
"Many families who get in touch with us have been receiving direct mail for a few years after the passing of a loved one and express relief that there is a service to help."
To register a bereavement visit: www.tabr.com.au or call 1300 887 914