Racy flyers showing nude women OK in U.S. mail?

- Jeff Kinkle’s eyebrows jumped and his jaw dropped when he opened his mailbox.

One side featured a topless blonde, and on the other side a topless and bottomless brunette. Both were strategically posed so that some, but not all of their bodies were visible in the ad.

“I instantly thought this can’t be out for everybody to see,” he said.

The postcard from Playboy was unsolicited. And Kinkle was stunned to discover something so explicit in the U.S. mail.

“I don’t agree with this at all,” he said. “I don’t want to see this in my mailbox at all.”

He was sure that by sending photos of scantily-clad women, Playboy had broken federal law. But he was wrong.

We took Kinkle’s concerns to the U.S. Postal Service. A spokesman explained that the postal service does not regulate sexually-oriented mail – or any mail, for that matter. She responded with a direct and revealing quote from the postal code.

“Postmasters are not authorized to decide whether written, printed, or graphic matter is non-mailable based on its content, or to deny entry to such matter or exclude it from the mail,” the statement read.

As long as proper postage is paid, a piece of mail will ship – no matter how objectionable it might be. No judgment.

So, Playboy was playing by the rules.

Even still, consumers like  Kinkle don’t have to continue receiving explicit mailers. The Postal Service explained that there's a little-known form that serves as a Do Not Call list of sorts for sexually-oriented mail.

Once you fill it out, you should no longer receive sexually-oriented at your address.

“Customers may file for themselves or for their children under 19 who live with them,” the Postal Service said.

Registration is free. The program requires you to renew every five years.

Kinkle said he would stop the unwanted deliveries by filing form 1500. But he remains miffed that the onus is on consumers, not companies like Playboy, to regulate who receives what in the mail.

“There should be a registry where you opt in to get it not where you have to opt out,” he said.

To obtained a copy of Form 1500, click here.
 

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