Why is this allowed to continue? Why doesn’t the government step in? These clowns send unsolicited mail in an envelope that really does look like it’s from the government of Ontario – to anyone living in Ontario not actually working for the government, that is.
(UPDATE: Elephas Responded to this post. Or rather…their lawyer sent me an email. More below)
(UPDATE 7/22/2020: Elephas released the following statement…
This June 18, 2014 post relates to a discontinued direct mailing by the Elephas Group. There was concern back in 2014 that the Elephas Group’s use of the word “Ontario” on a brown envelope was confusing recipients that the mailing came directly from a Canadian governmental agency.
There was no intent by Elephas Group to confuse the public. The use of the word “Ontario” on the envelope was reviewed by the Ministry of Government Services (MGS). Elephas used a brown envelope because it was made from recycled materials. Furthermore, the letter had the company logo and name, which indicated it was not from a government agency.
After this very first mailing, Elephas Group altered its envelope to clearly indicate the sender, as well as released the following statement to the public:
We would like to apologize for any disturbance that our advertisement may have caused. We no longer use the Canadian Flag in our advertising, nor do we plan to do so in the future. It is our understanding that no Canadian Government mail is sent third class like this piece. All Canadian Government mail is directly addressed to the recipient’s name. The inside communication displays our Elephas Group company name and logo, clearly not a Government agency. Further, our use of Ontario on the envelope was reviewed by the Ministry of Government Services (MGS). We use the brown envelope as it is made from recycled materials. The statements contained in the advertisement are correct. We believe it is important for seniors to know that the CPP death benefit may not be adequate to address the current cost of a funeral in Ontario.
Can anyone post a picture of the new envelope? Based on the wording above, it sounds as if they removed the Canadian Flag, but have kept the word “Ontario” (they didn’t say otherwise). And they only reference Elephas Group inside the envelope, and not outside. Still a misleading though quite legal marketing tactic. I would be interested in seeing these new envelopes. I’m sure that their insurance for funeral costs is legitimate and may even, indeed, help some people. But the marketing is (still) wrong, if my hunch is correct.
Dobber, 7/22, 2020)
Here is the original post from 2014 that I wrote, that is damaging their business…
Really? That’s allowed? Unfair marketing. The enclosed letter starts off:
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE BORN AFTER 1932!
Yeah, so uh…if you’re 83 years old, don’t worry – you’re safe!
So these clowns get thousands of people to open the letter because of the official-looking Ontario symbol, and then hook them with scare tactics and clever wording like this:
As a Canadian resident you may qualify for the Canada Pension Plan (Survivor/Funeral) benefit. But, these funds will not exceed $2500 for final expenses.
Well there you have it. Too many among the elderly…they ignore what is in the brackets there and become alarmed at how little their CPP is. Cheesy tactics from a cheesy company with a business plan/idea that obviously doesn’t cut it.
The official-looking symbol on the envelope should be banned for marketing use. Nothing portraying or hinting at coming from the government when it actually isn’t, should be allowed.
Anyway, getting this today really pissed me off. I told them as much on their ‘contact us’ form on their website.