Is there a lawyer in the house?


My 13 year old son just received a postcard in the mail, addressed to him by name, offering a special student discount for Playboy magazine, offering "uncensored advice on sex and a sizzling edge on life, PLUS a free DVD, Playboy’s Hot Wet Nudes, completely uncensored."
How could Playboy get his name – okay, he subscribes to an Electronic Gaming magazine, maybe that’s it.
Can anyone tell me whether I can sue them or take any action for soliciting a child so young?
I find this totally offensive.


start with your Postmaster


‘Special student discount’??? Sounds like they’re well and truly targeting the underage (even if they’re referring to college or university students I think most of them would still be under the age for x-rated material)


Your son is definitely too young to be receiving those solicitations, but it seems to me that anyone can access mailing lists… magazines sell them to one another all the time. Perhaps talk to the Postmaster, but my guess is that Playboy wouldn’t legally be held liable since there’s no way they really could have known that your son was so young. Gotta love ‘free speech’ rights :nope:

Then there’s the ‘typical’ target audiences–my university has single sex dorms, and I hear that at least once a year there are enough Playboy postcards for all the residents sent to the guys’ halls. I only found this out because I saw one of them on the floor…I only hope that the whole stack of 'em gets thrown away at my Catholic university!


Suing is out of the range of reasonable possibilities. Unfortunately there is not always a perfect legal remedy for every offense we endure by living in society–especially one as open as ours. Throw the junk away and consider youself on notice and be vigilant about what comes into you home–whether by way of computer, mail, TV, video, etc. I can only imagine what solicitations are popping up on his e-mail if this made its way via snail mail. Perhaps it’s time to start regularly monitoring his on-line activities/history.


Thanks for all the good thoughts.
I believe I will talk to the post office. I do monitor his online activities. He is the one who brought the card to me, upset about it, which I think is great.
It just irks me that many kids may take advantage of this special student discount.


Mailing lists are bought, sold and traded every day. Because of this, any magazine or item ordered to be sent to our house is addressed to DH or I, this avoids getting our son’s name on mailing lists. He’ll have a lifetime to get junk mail :slight_smile:


From what my computer-game loving brother tells me about how hard it is to avoid porn ads on Gaming websites, it seems that Playboy and similar publications target the same audience as Gaming media. (young, hormonal, unmarried young men and teenage boys)

If it turns out that Electronic Gaming magazine sold their mailing list to Playboy, you might want to drop your son’s subscription–and let them know why.

If you want to create a PR issue for them, see if the news media will do anything for you–but don’t count on them.


Good thought – but how could I find out if they had?


For the future, you may consider the op-out programs for junk mail and telemarketing. They don’t come close to stopping everything, but are a steip in the right direction. Your postmaster will probably have an address, and these services can be accesssed by internet.
In my case, I know how imperfect they are. After personal documents were taken from my house, I started getting up to six calls a day based on info that would only be available from the stolen documents. It will probably be necessary to inform the op-out services of all names and combination of names (ie initials instead of names) for which the mailings should be halted. For phone calls, all number in the household should be included.


I do agree that it was probably targeted at a College age student. The age to be able to buy Porn, Cigarettes and to gamble happens to be 18! Just when we are sending our young men and ladies off on their own to college.

My husband got a similar postcard yesterday. We just tossed it in the trash, figured they got his name from who knows where!

Maybe, just maybe this is a good sign that their magazine is coming into disuse! But then again that could be because of the free nature of porn on the internet too

Brenda V.


If your son has unsupervised acess to the internet I suggest you check his computer to see where he has been. Somewhere along the liine he may have registered at a web site that gave someone the imopression he was older and was interested in ths type of thing.


The Original Poster has already written that she monitors her son’s Internet activity and that moreover, her son is the one who brought this to her attention. Both of these tend to suggest that her son may never have intentionally misrepresented himself.

Nevertheless, the child is 13 years old, and this is likely to be one of the last instances of full disclosure on his part. Once his teenage hormones kick into full gear, receiving a card like this may cause him to have an entirely different reaction. Since the Original Poster remained ignorant of the letter until it was brought to her attention, not only should she step up her surveillance of the child’s Internet usage, but she should also start screening his mail.

Throughout the teenage years it will take vigilance to keep your son on the straight and narrow. I pray that the Original Poster is up to it.


Well, I’m taking him to a boys’ group that my church is starting, ConQuest. It sounds as if it will provide some good reinforcement of our teaching.
I appreciate all of your suggestions and insight.


Well there are only a few places left where one can gamble at 18 since most are at 21 and most that were aat 18 changed to 21, but the rest of your statement is correct.


I simply must respond to this. As a parent and a teacher, it disgusts me that these huge corporations use the “free speech” argument to try to undo everything we do to protect our children’s innocence. The “freedom of speech” corporations are constantly invoking does not exist in the Constitution. That freedom protects the individual. Big money “persuaded” the court system to treat these companies as individuals and grant them rights they simply should not have.

If we want to do something about this, on a practical level, we need to get this on the political radar of our elected officials and the voters.

I agree with another poster here - get some publicity if you can.


I agree that if you want to make some changes, get some media attention and write to your elected officials. At the very least, I would write a letter to Playboy, letting them know exactly what I think of their marketing ploys.


I’m of the mind that the best way to fight this might be to bring it to the attention of your priest. I suspect that it improves morale and motivates a priest when he learns that someone in his flock is fighting the good fight.

If he knows that one of his sheep is taking the knocks, maybe the priest will show a little more courage during his Sunday homilies.

Just a thought…


I received this exact same postcard in the mail from playboy. They got my husband’s name from a sports magazine. Since the postcard had naked women on the front and I have little boys, I thought I needed to do something about it. Not only that, but it was VERY offensive to me, and as far as I’m concerned I should not have to see this in my mailbox and in my home.

I went to the post office, and they have a form you can fill out for this specific situation. I put my husband’s and my sons’ names on this form. The post office then sends something specifically to playboy prohibiting them from ever sending any more mail to your house. You will also get a copy in the mail of what was sent to playboy. Then they put your child’s name and whoever else you listed on the form on a list that is sort of like the do not call list for any porn related material or sexually oriented advertisements.

It’s called a prohibitory order. It’s the PS form 1500.


Thanks for this information! I did not know this kind of thing existed. I guess it is time for me to ask the next time I am at the post office (I go every other week to mail my Avon brochures to customers).

There is something we can do!

Brenda V.

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