Consumption of printing and writing paper in France in the retail print advertising market is taking another hit with the latest announcement from retail chain Leclerc. The company stopped sending unaddressed printed leaflets and flyers to private households as of 1 September and promoted the step in a large-scale advertising campaign.
The move had already been announced at the beginning of the year, but was not to be carried out until the end of September. Leclerc is now promoting its app "Mon Leclerc" ("My Leclerc") as an alternative to print advertising.
The move will save the company around 50,000 tonnes of paper consumption, Leclerc says, of which SC papers are expected to account for a larger share. Leclerc justifies the decision with the fact that, according to surveys, 44 per cent of households in France directly dispose of printed, unaddressed advertising without reading it. This is an "aberration", Leclerc explains in his advertising campaign and in this context also refers to the 14 billion advertising leaflets that are distributed in France every year according to the European Letterbox Association (ELMA). However, the paper consumption of 700,000 tpy that the company brings into play refers to data from the French agency for ecological change Ademe from 2021. In the current year of 2023, paper consumption for supermarket advertising can be estimated to be up to 30 per cent lower.
The large-scale "Oui Pub" trial in 14 cities and areas in France, where printed non-addressed advertising to private households is only allowed with a corresponding notice on the letterbox, will run until next year, when results and findings will be announced. However, the first interim results already indicate that at most one third of private households in France actively want non-addressed advertising. It remains to be seen what consequences the French government will draw from the results of the test. A major role for a fundamental decision in favour of or against non-addressed print advertising will also be played by how the retailers' sales will develop in the test areas. Another issue will be that the delivery of these advertising leaflets will become logistically more difficult and costly if, for example, a leaflet could only be delivered to every third household.