Tuesday, April 20, 2010

1,700,000 Copies a Week of 'litter' on our streets!

American Circulation Innovations is the firm that the AJC hired last October to distribute 1.3 million copies of their AJC Reach each week. ACI was also selected to distribute approximately 400,000 copies of Evening Edge on a weekly basis.

The total distribution in Metro Atlanta is 1.7 million copies weekly or 88.4 million copies on a yearly basis. That is a heck of a lot of litter to be tossing on our streets, driveways and lawns. The latest circulation figures for the M-F AJC shows that their daily circulation fell 24.7 percent to 195,582.

Keith Somers, is ACI's General Manager and their main address is: 1501 W. Wardlow Road, Long Beach, CA. 90810, Tel: (310) 233-2750 (FYI see: http://www.acicirculation.com/). David Morel, is the ACI Director of Strategic Planning and Development, Tel: (562) 805-7681.

This is a 40 year old firm and the AJC contract is their largest among the 50+ publications they distribute. Other papers using them are: Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Examiner, San Diego Union Tribune, Orange County Register and Yellow Book USA.

(See also: http://www.acicirculation.com/newsAtlanta.php)

From the ACI web site:

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The below is the 4/28/10 CVS emailed reply to my complaints:

Dear Mr. William Harris,

Thank you for contacting CVS/pharmacy. Your e-mail has reached the Customer Relations Department. We appreciate the time you have taken to contact us with your concerns.

I have formally documented your comments and forwarded your concerns directly to our Advertising Department. We have contacted the AJC and they are aware of the complaints and working to resolve the issue, including updating their information about vacant homes in order to cease delivery to those addresses. They also offer the opportunity for customers to receive the AJC REACH via postal mail. They state that they have added a carrier penalty system for poor delivery performance and conducting spot checks in targeted areas to ensure delivery accuracy. They have established a dedicated Customer Care line for REACH delivery services. The number is 404-526-9473. Please feel free to contact them directly.

Thank you again for contacting us Mr. Harris. We value your feedback and look forward to serving you in the future. Have a wonderful afternoon!


CVS/pharmacy, Customer Relations

My Reply:

Thank you for your reply, I have posted it on my blog site: http://www.atlantajournal-constitution.blogspot.com/

I just want to make sure you folks at CVS are aware of the volume of this litter that is being distributed around the Atlanta area. I am not complaining about 100,000 copies or even 200,000 copies. The AJC is throwing 1,700,000, that is 1.7 MILLION copies of this trash and it is not a year or a month - it is 1,700,000 plastic encased advertising flyers each WEEK, over 88 MILLION of them a year.

The little tweeks that the AJC had put into place are really meaningless.

You really must reconsider just whose side CVS is going to be on. Do you want to support the major source of litter in the Atlanta area or do you want to do the responsible thing and tell them to STOP THROWING litter onto peoples private property.

You can't be on both sides of this issue.

Either you are part of the solution or you continue to be part of the problem!

Atlanta Man Video Tapes AJC Reach Delivery Woman

Atlanta Man Says Video Shows Delivery Woman Breaking The LawBy Michelle Marsh, CBS Atlanta Reporter
ATLANTA -- An Atlanta man fed-up with unwanted deliveries of the AJC Reach, hopes his video will force the city of Atlanta to take action.

Patrick Kidda said he called the Atlanta Journal Constitution Reach’s customer service line a month ago and asked them to stop delivering the AJC Reach.

He said despite his request, the ad circular was still being delivered.

Kidda said he became so frustrated that he decided to video tape the delivery woman dropping off the circular Monday.

Kidda said, "If this person can drive around, the AJC can do that, wouldn’t everybody, if everyone dropped trash out their window wouldn’t that be a problem?"

The city of Atlanta said Atlanta Journal Constitution violated city laws when it delivered Reach ad circulars to street curbs and driveways.

Earlier this month, city officials told CBS Atlanta News if the AJC didn’t change their delivery methods, the paper would be cited.

Kidda hopes his drive-by video will now be enough to force the city to take action and cite the company.

AJC officials have repeatedly refused on-camera interviews with CBS Atlanta News since March 30.

CBS Atlanta News did get an e-mail from the AJC saying they would review Kidda's claims.

A few more letters to the BBB couldn't hurt:

April 5, 2010

Ms. Keesha Wright
Dispute Resolution Counselor
503 Oak Place Suite 590
College Park, GA 30349

RE: My complaint to you about the AJC

Your incoming dated 5/29/10 was received today.

I appreciate your BBB interest in this matter.

The AJC reply would be acceptable if it were not for the fact that they originally answered in a similar manner yet continued to toss their papers into my driveway on Monday and Thursday. For the past 10 days I have not had these unwanted items showing up and I hope this remains the case, I doubt that it will based on past experience. I assume the case will now be closed. I have been advised by other property owners that they were also putting in complaints.

I would like to further bring to your attention that this firm, rated as A+ by the BBB, continues to throw these unwanted circulars into driveways, sidewalks and private property all across the Atlanta Metro area.

This is the subject of at least 2 CBS TV reports, blog sites such as:

The Atlanta Better Business Bureau needs to take away the A+ rating you have given this firm. They do NOT deserve it and it makes the BBB look like they will take any steps necessary to excuse one of their members bad acts just so they can keep getting the yearly dues payments.

Why not do the responsible thing and tell the AJC to either correct their littering or you will drop their rating to 'U' for unacceptable.

William Harris
Kennesaw, Ga.

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============================================================== MISC: Ms. Tanner from CBS TV 9 came by today to do an interview about the AJC problem. She relates that the AJC brass are still dodging any on camera interviews about tha matter. Seems to be the old 'head in the sand' sort of response. They know that they screwed up and don't want to appear on camera to try and defend their bad judgment.


Kennesaw Man Fights AJC WIth Postcards

Resident Created Postcards To Send To Elected Officials, Advertisers By Lesley Tanner, CBS Atlanta Reporter
KENNESAW, Ga. -- Holding a postcard that reads, 'The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Sucks,' William Harris said his message isn't subtle, but he can't think of a better way to get the attention of the publishers at the AJC.
"I've contacted the AJC so many times it's like hollering down a well," said Harris. "It makes a little noise, but it doesn't really accomplish anything."

Harris said that's why he printed up hundreds of postcards, asking residents to boycott the AJC and its advertisers. He's mailed them to his neighbors and local elected officials, now he's preparing a stack to mail to the advertisers themselves.

"They're not being a good neighbor to us by throwing things on our lawn, particularly when we tell them don't do it," said Harris.

Neighbor Mark Drummond said he doesn't mind the deliveries, but does think the AJC should respond to their customers' concerns. "If there's that much of a concern on the part of the community, I think the AJC should address that," said Drummond.

After repeated requests, Harris said delivery finally stopped to his entire Kennesaw subdivision two weeks ago, but he said that's still not enough. "It's a Metro Atlanta issue," said Harris. "It's not a Kennesaw issue or a subdivision issue, it's a common sense issue."

And issue he said goes beyond litter.

"It also tips off every burglar that drives by that there's nobody in residence," said Harris.

Kennesaw's mayor told CBS Atlanta News he agrees that repeated deliveries are a safety issue.

The city council may also look at how the deliveries can be regulated under the current city code.