Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stop pub

No junk mail. That's the essence of this simple sticker on a mailbox in Saint-Aignan. It's part of a campaign to reduce junk mail. Residents around the nation can request stickers for their mailboxes from a number of ecological associations dedicated to reducing waste from junk advertising.

Curtains twitched across the street when I stopped to take this picture.

We don't get much junk mail here in France compared to what we used to get in San Francisco. But there is some (You may already be a winner!). Since the local supermarket flyers make up most of the junk mail we receive, and we actually want to get those, we haven't thought about putting a stop pub sticker on our mailbox.

In case you are wondering, pub is short for la publicité, which is the French word for commercial advertising.


  1. And pronounced (more or less), 'pube', as in short and curly, and not to be confused with 'poob', which is rubbish. If you pronouce it like a convivial British drinking establishment, French people will assume you are using the diminutive of poubelle, not publicité. Because the words look familiar, it can be really difficult to get out of the habit of pronouncing them in a familiar way.

  2. "Poob"? In other words, poub' would be short for poubelle ("garbage can, rubbish bin")? I've never heard that before.

    English doesn't have a vowel like the one in French pub, and for Anglophones it's one of the hardest vowels to get right.

    It is very important, for example, to be able to distinguish your cou ("neck") from your cul ("butt, behind" — the L is silent).

  3. Hi Walt, we have a 'Stop Pub' sticker on our mailbox, but as you say it's good to know the special offers on supermarket flyers - have you looked at It gives you pdf copies of all the current flyers from hyper/super/bricomarches (but I'm not sure whether offers local to Loir et Cher branches would be included) - hth

  4. Hi Walt, I'm so glad to catch up with you again. Have just read all your posts since early Nov. We're back in Florida after spending weeks in NC selling and moving out of our house.

    I LOVE your photo of rue de Four!

    Stay warm, stay safe.


  5. What's junk mail for one household might be very important for another. Are people really willing to leave it up to the mailman to decide what does or does not get delivered? What happens when something important gets thrown away and the mailman just shrugs and says it looked like junk to him? It just seems to me that nothing but bad is going to come out of this.

  6. As I made my daily trip yesterday to the recycling bin with my load of junk mail, I thought,"Wouldn't it be nice to be able to get on a "no junk mail" list just like those "no call" lists. If I spoke French, I might move.

  7. Does the Postman deliver this "No Pub" mail or is it coming from another source? Meaning, I would assume that the Postman would have to deliver everything with your address on it regardless of it being junk or not.
    Your Friend, m.

  8. susan, I've not heard poub' used that way. Maybe we live in a strange linguistic island up here...

    mccork, thanks for the link. You're right that they don't indicate which stores are participating in the promotions.

    bettyann, good to hear from you! Congratulations on the move!

    cubby, I think it's just the general mass advertising that they leave out.

    mitch, sure would be!

    mark, anything that's addressed to a person's name is delivered, I believe, even if it's junk mail. I think we're only talking about the advertising flyers that are distributed to every mailbox but not addressed to anyone.

  9. We like the pub. In France it helps us to learn French and in England it serves good beer !! Ta-da !!

  10. we got our "Stop Pub" stickers from trhe Mairie. We collected a supply of them when we weren't living here, and would stick one on the Boite when we were left for London, removing it every time we arrived back here.

    Gotta have the Pub...

  11. I'll bet those stickers work about as well as the "Do Not Call" list does here.


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