How did Gilette know it was my birthday?

So I get a box from the Gilette company stamped “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” with a pretty nice Mach 3 razor and a can of shaving cream.

How did they know?

You probably told them. Somewhere along the line you filled out some form, an application, a survey, a rebate form, something.

Pretty good razor, though…

They probably knew because they’re really sharp.

Gilette and Selective Service do this thing where if you’ve registered for SS, then they send you a razor on your 18th. It happened to about 90% of the males in my highschool.

Oh, all right, since no one else seems to want to take care of this attention whore:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, clayton_e!!!

We love you anyway, even if your post was just a desparate cry for help. :smiley:

Early Out, thanks for the Happy- Bday, but I don’t really care too much about the whole thing… just another day (quite a while back, btw… ). But I was seriously interested in how gilette knew, and if it is involved with the federal government, as False_God mentioned (I was thinking this was a posibility, that’s why I started this thread), I am mildly disturbed.

Anyway, g’day.

Why would you be mildy disturbed to know the federal government knows how old you are? They sort of have a need to know.

And secondly, why would you be concerned if it generated a free razor?

You ever hand your credit card to anyone? Use your i.d. as proof of who you are? Ever fill out an application ANYwhere?

Any bozo can have your account numbers and other info when you hand it to them, but you’re disturbed that the entity that really needs it might use it?!

Enjoy your Birthday! Lighten up!

Philster, mildly disturbed if they recieved my address/b-day from the government. If they recieved it from just some form I may have filled out someplace for something else, then I don’t mind as much, its just a minor annoyance. But as most of my friends also recieved this I’m wondering how they have such an extensive database.

Marketing lists are big business. Soooo many lists are sold/exchanged/consolidated that it is hard to track all the sources. (Did you all fill out college applications???)

The great thing about name/address/age lists is that the usually work to your advantage. Mail is hardly an annoyance compared to phone calls, and most people are happy to accept free samples from major companies, and most people find their favorite credit card or their first credit card from mailed offers.

But, just watch all forms you fill out, from college entrance forms, to ‘warranty cards’ to college aid and loan forms. Banks and appliance mfgrs are big sellers of info, and there are people dedicated to cross referencing all the info and making excellent lists.

Do you drive? Most states sell their license lists to anyone with the money. It sounds nefarious, and maybe it is. However, it helps keep the tax bills lower.

FYI, I’m an American living in Canada and had to head over to the nearest US consulate to register for the selective service when i turned 18. And a few months later a “happy birthday” package arrived for me from gillette; and gilette in the states, not their canadian subsidiary. No one else I was in high school with had recieved such a package. I wonder, if this is in fact a business deal between Gilette and the US governement, if anywhere on the SS form it says your info may be sold or used by other companies. Could any 17 year olds check this out for us?

Apparently, they provide the following info to ‘the general public’:

General Public - Registrant’s name, Selective Service Number, date of birth and classification.

And their records can be revealed to anyone as per the Freedom of Information act.

And from the FTC:

“ASL sells to a diverse clientele. In 1981, the Selective Service Administration paid $20,000 for a list of 1.2 million 18-year-old men, so it could send them postcards reminding them to register for the draft. In 1996, the Gillette Corp. bought a list of 1.4 million 18-year-olds so it could send them a razor, shaving cream and a coupon.”

I got one from them 38years ago.
I’m 56 years old

And the real culprit, lest I leave you with the impression the Selective Service was to blame is the ASL “American Student Lists”:

also from

“It is a member of the Direct Marketing Association and says on its Web site ( that it honors requests to opt out from its database.”

My comments:

Gillette and Selective Service get their lists from the same source, which explains the coincidence of registering for SelService and then getting a razor in the mail.

Yes they still do it… and it works. I got Gillete Sensor Excel [sup]TM[/sup] in 1996 and I still use it. So the little expense they spent to send me a razor handle has yielded them 7 years of razor cartridge sales.