Thanks to cheap mailing lists and technology, we know a lot more about the targets of our various direct-mail campaigns than we probably should. The Chicago Tribune emphasized the point with this cautionary tale, creating one of the best arguments we’ve seen for making sure every piece of mail is graced by the eyes of at least one editor.
Mike Seay of Lindenhurst, Ill. received the following mail piece from OfficeMax. And yes, his 17-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident with her boyfriend last year. How OfficeMax (or the company that it rented the mailing list from) knew this remains a mystery.