Anyone who is annoyed by advertising in their mailbox can change that with little effort. The sticker “Please no advertising and no free newspapers” ensures that no more advertising brochures, such as those distributed by supermarkets, end up in the mailbox. However, you will then also no longer receive any free advertising papers and the magazine of the municipal utility will also be missing in the future. If you want to continue receiving such magazines, simply write “Please no advertising”. You can buy stickers in magazine stores, for example, but you can also write them yourself on your computer or by hand. The stickers are effective because the Federal Court of Justice has ruled that they are binding and must be observed. However, they only help against unaddressed advertising—in other words, everything that every household receives.
If you also want to defend yourself against other advertising, you have to do a bit more. This is because all letters that are personally addressed must be delivered by letter carriers. The consumer advice center advises people to register on the Robinson list. This is a list of contact details of people who do not want to receive unsolicited advertising. Anyone listed there will be removed from the current address lists of all advertising companies that are members of the Deutscher Dialogmarketing Verband e.V. (DDV). The address is:
There you can also tick the industries from which you do not want to receive advertising. The consumer advice center also provides a good overview:
It is often the case, however, that you have voluntarily given your address to a company and are then bombarded with advertising mail. In such cases, the only thing that helps is to contact the company directly and ask them not to send any more letters. The consumer center advises to object in principle to the processing of personal data for the purpose of direct advertising. Anyone who signs a contract—for a cell phone plan, for example—must therefore take care not to agree to the transfer of data in the fine print. This can be done at the time of first contact, but can also be done later. According to the consumer advice center, a letter with the sentence: “I object to the processing of my personal data for the purpose of direct marketing (Article 21(2) of the General Data Protection Regulation)” is sufficient.
You can also defend yourself against telephone advertising. Calls advertising a change of electricity supplier or private health insurance, for example, are only permitted if you have already been in contact with the company in question and have agreed to advertising, Otherwise, the Federal Network Agency can even impose fines. However, it also points out that care should be taken when concluding contracts not to inadvertently consent to the use of data for advertising purposes. Further information is available on the homepage of the Federal Network Agency:
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