Globe Direct agrees to stop turning Cambridge into a giant bird cage

What happens when you leave Globe Directs in the street

What happens when Globe Directs wind up in the street, get wet and then run over.

Well look at this: The Cambridge Department of Public Works reports (bottom item) it's managed to get John Henry's little circular company to agree to stop befouling the city:

Due to concerns raised about unwanted deliveries, excessive deliveries and plastic bags, the company has instituted the following changes regarding their weekly advertising circular:

  1. All calls to 781-646-6769 to stop delivery will be immediately honored.
  2. Plastic bags will not be used if the weather is good.
  3. Deliveries will be left on private property, not public sidewalks.
  4. Delivery operators are now instructed to pick up any old deliveries that have not been taken in during their next delivery.
  5. Retrieval services will be used to pick up excess deliveries when there are complaints from the community.
  6. Disciplinary action will be taken against delivery operators of they fail to comply with these rules.

The news couldn't come soon enough for one Area Four resident, who sent in the above photo:

We also hate the globe direct and our hoarder neighbor lets them pile up in our foyer and front stairs. There are many that end up in the street and sidewalk. Attached is the beautiful result after cars drive over the papers.

Wonder what it would take to get Boston to demand similar treatment ...

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Comments

I kinda doubt this will work,

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I kinda doubt this will work, have you ever seen them "deliver" the bags? In Charlestown, they drive up and down the streets and throw them out of their SUVs. This will require them to actually get out of their cars and move.

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Yep

They're going to have to do it on foot, now (can't imagine driving would give any advantage now, would only slow them down).

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Bags of sh*t

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That's what these are like when they get wet.... big bags of sh*t

I wonder if their new rules only apply to Cambridge and not their entire delivery area... because I just spent a good two hours yesterday picking up the coupon papers that are inside these flyers all over my front yard (after being rained on). Getting REAL sick of these.

Why hasn't the Globe taken notice yet, I know my city manager (Ash) has complained already, as have many other cities and towns. Either the Globe doesn't care or... well they just don't care.

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I scraped a bunch off the stoop on Saturday.

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Out of curiosity, I wondered who all makes up their ad account base as this method is pretty close to dead. All the other littering entities have packed it in.

It was mainly contractors.

I realize there is a Market Basket insert in the mix somewhere but I wondered who uses such a crappy medium now. Maybe they can go back a bit further in time and restore town criers or something?

There are a few holdouts who don't trust the web and/or are vain and simply must see some treeware with their name on it.

This is opportunity Adam. I don't know if you have time but these accounts would do far better in U Hub and it's data driven.

A certain number of these ad buyers may just be bewildered by web advertising but the array of these community scale journals probably do pretty good numbers.

You are also doing reasonably well in search page ranking in some instances. Between your organic following and what SEO happens, you have a killer base.

If you get time to add a google plus widget and make a U Hub page there it would rock.

Questions welcome.

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"ad account base" == supermarket chains

Where I live, the contents of Globe Direct are mostly weekly supermarket flyers, from Stop & Shop, Star Market, and Market Basket. When Johnnie's Foodmaster was still around, their flyer was in the packet too. I don't think I've ever seen an insert for Whole Foods or Trader Joe's, but maybe those stores are just too far away from Davis Square to want to advertise here.

Rite Aid often has a Globe Direct insert as well. CVS and Walgreens rarely if ever do.

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Those are the inserts.

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I'm describing the smaller ads in the 'paper' . Inserts are the real money but there are various quarter page and so on things and most seem to be contractors for drywall, paint jobs, roofers, siders and such.

Maybe they assume a few elderly people will fish the thing off the lawn to get a bid on a deck makeover because they don't know about phone books or craigslist and can't get personal referrals like many people here in nepotism heavy Greater Boston?

I didn't even know about it until Adam mentioned it earlier. Paper crap in plastic is just reflexively tossed by various building tenants with minimal ceremony.

Nothing says "This is worthless" like a cheap plastic bag with a newspaper-like thing in it.

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An ongoing problem in many

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An ongoing problem in many parts of the city, although we seem to be getting less of those lately in Dorchester. Two years ago, I picked up a bunch of Saving Central, and dumped them in front of the Globe's world headquarter on Morissey boulevard. Then I emailed an explanation to the Globe editor. As you would expect, nobody responded...

Here is a copy of my letter of two years ago (warning: it's ridiculously long).

Dear Sir / Madam,

This Saturday morning (March 24th), around 9:00 AM, I went for a jog starting from my house in Fields Corner. For the third week in a row, I noticed all over the sidewalk and the curb those very conspicuous green bags. Printed on them, it reads: “SAVINGS CENTRAL An edition of the Boston Sunday Globe”.

Each one of these bags is chockfull of advertising. Many of them remain on the street for days on end, until they get split open, or soaked by the rain. The leaflets break loose from the bags and get carried away by the wind, spreading all around the street, clogging the gutters, littering the sidewalk, and getting trapped along chain link fences. See pictures below.

As someone who spends a lot of time picking up litter and trying to keep my neighborhood clean and safe for all, this is a provocation. This thick advertising supplement comes unwanted and unsolicited, and that’s why most people don’t even bother to pick it up.

Last weekend, I called the Globe 1-888 number to report the issue and ask them to stop delivering near my house. The person in charge of delivery I spoke to said that they would address this issue with their delivery person. This morning, there was no green bag on my street, but once I turned around the corner from my street, I saw them all over my neighborhood. There were many along Geneva Ave. where I ran for a short while. Then I took a turn onto Waldeck Street. Interestingly, there weren’t any green bags in sight when I reached the more posh Melville Ave. area. They started again all along Bowdoin St. and down onto Adams St. were these pictures were taken.

On the way back, I collected a dozen of them from the sidewalk on Westville St. near my house and put them in box. Before lunch, I strapped the box on my bike, and rode with my wife to the Boston Globe headquarter on Morissey Boulevard. As we arrived, I spoke to the receptionist at the front desk (Serge?). We connected fairly well at first, and he seemed to understand my issue. He also said that an unhappy woman had come a few days prior returning a case full of them. He told me to use the phone at the front desk and gave me a number to call. On the phone, I asked to speak to someone about this green bag littering issue. A woman answered curtly that I would have to call back on Monday. I said that if no one in charge came to talk to me and pick up the papers, I was going to dump them on the Globe’s property, since the Globe has dumped them in my neighborhood this morning. She said “Dump them!” and hung up. I told Serge that I was going to do just that. I took my box full of the green bags and loose pamphlets that I had picked up earlier, and dumped them in front of the main entrance. Serge probably didn’t think that I was going to do it because he came outside and seemed a bit shocked. He said: “You can’t do that, this is private property. Who are you? You are not the mayor of this city, are you?” I tried to explain to him that I was just returning the trash that the Globe had been dumping in front of my house and in my neighborhood for the past few weeks. He wouldn’t have it. He took a few pictures of us from his phone as we were packing up and called for a cleaner. We left it at that and just took off on our bikes.

On February 8th 2009, the Globe itself published an article called “BREAKTHROUGH ON `BROKEN WINDOWS'. It is about a study that was conducted in Lowell by Harvard and Suffolk University. Here is one of the most interesting conclusion according to that article:

Many police departments across the country already use elements of the broken windows theory, or focus on crime hot spots. The Lowell experiment offers guidance on what seems to work best. Cleaning up the physical environment was very effective; misdemeanor arrests less so, and boosting social services had no apparent impact.

It is this article along with a few other studies I read that push my determination in addressing the major litter problem in my neighborhood. To summarize it briefly: More litter = more crime. There is not just a correlation, but a strong causation between the two. That’s what social science has recently demonstrated.

With the widespread distribution of these green bags, the Globe is probably becoming the biggest single source litterer in my neighborhood. This is not right, and it needs to stop now. I am not targeting only the Globe with this issue. I am forwarding you a copy letter that I recently sent to one of the notorious absentee landlord who owns a property along Geneva Ave. This is part of a greater initiative, and we need your cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.

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Thursday vs Sunday distribution

Globe Direct comes with the Thursday Globe, and contains mostly supermarket circulars. I think Savings Central consists of all the advertising circulars from the Sunday Globe.

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