The UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.

Junk mail

What is junk mail?

Junk mail is unwanted postal marketing such as flyers, competition entries and postal campaigns.

How can I reduce the amount of junk mail I receive?

If you are having a problem with the overall amount of junk mail that is addressed to you, it could help to register your name and address with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS).

The MPS is a free service set up by the direct marketing industry to help people who don't want to receive junk mail. It is good practice for organisations to check the MPS list before sending marketing but it is not a legal requirement that they do so.

To register, contact the MPS www.mpsonline.org.uk

You can reduce the amount of 'unaddressed’ mail you receive by registering with the Royal Mail's door to door opt-out service. However, this will not stop mail addressed to 'the occupier'.

Write to:
Freepost RRBT-2BXB-TTTS,
Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Outs,
Kingsmead House, Oxpens Road,
Oxford, OX1 1RX
Or email at optout@royalmail.com

How can I stop an organisation from sending me junk mail?

If you receive marketing that is addressed to you, the Data Protection Act gives you the right to tell an organisation to stop sending it to you.

You should write to them by letter or email to tell them to stop using your personal information to send you marketing. When they receive your request they must stop marketing you as soon as they can.

Suggested letter:

[Date]

Dear Sir or Madam

Notice under the Data Protection Act 1998 not to use my personal information for direct marketing.

I [your full name] of [your full address] require you to stop / not to begin processing personal information relating to me for direct marketing as soon as possible and in any event within 28 days of the date of this letter / email.

If you do not normally handle these requests for your organisation, please pass this letter to your Data Protection Officer or the person who does.

Please note that if you do not comply with this notice, I can apply to the court for an order against you under the Data Protection Act.

Yours faithfully

[Your name]

If you have written to the organisation to ask them to stop sending you marketing material, but they have continued to send it, then you may wish to report your concerns.