DMA's Charles Prescott to Stand for Re-Election as Chair of UPU's Consultative Committee
April 11, 2008 — The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) yesterday announced that Charles A. Prescott, DMA vice president of Global Knowledge Network Services, will stand for re-election to a four-year term as chairman of the Consultative Committee (CC) of the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The CC represents the wider postal industry sector at the UPU, including the DMA and other marketing associations, as well as associations that represent express couriers, postal system suppliers, equipment manufacturers, and envelope manufacturers. The CC was created by the Bucharest Congress of the UPU in 2004, and is tasked with providing advice and consultation on the many issues facing the postal sector.
Established in 1874, and today headquartered in Berne, Switzerland, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal-sector players, and helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services. With 191 member countries, this specialized agency of the United Nations fulfils an advisory, mediating, and liaison role, and renders technical assistance when and where it is needed. The UPU also sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail volumes and improve the quality of service for customers.
At the UPU Congress, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland from July 23 to August 12, 2008, more than 1,500 delegates from the UPU's 191 member countries will gather to discuss the major issues affecting the global postal sector today. At the Congress, the member countries will appoint six member countries to the CC, who together with the private sector members will elect the chair.
DMA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, Ph.D., said, “Charles Prescott’s nomination underscores the Direct Marketing Association’s unwavering commitment to the UPU and its Consultative Committee. We believe that Charlie’s involvement is critically important in helping DMA keep every channel — especially the postal channel — open and economically viable for all marketers and their customers.”
“Not only is technology impacting the world’s posts and how they serve their customers, both in the businessplace and in the home, but we’re seeing the mail — including advertising mail and mail-order catalogs — being adapted and used in powerful new ways to drive sales and raise charitable funds,” continued Dr. Ratan. “In this rapidly changing marketplace, it is vital that the voice of the postal customer continue to be heard.”
Charles Prescott noted, “The Consultative Committee has worked tirelessly during the last four years to establish our proper role and build a record of accomplishment at the UPU. Our first ambition for the next four-year cycle of the UPU is to broaden the committee’s membership to include more businesses from under-represented parts of the world, including Africa, Latin America, and Asia.”
“In addition, the Consultative Committee will focus on addresses and address systems, which are of critical importance to postal systems, mailers, and shippers around the globe,” Prescott said. “The importance of this topic to businesses, governments, and consumers has often been overlooked.”
A 1974 graduate of Harvard Law School, Prescott is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing (FEDMA), and was recently appointed to the Advisory Committee on International Postal and Delivery Services to the US State Department. He joined the DMA in 1999 as vice president, international, having previously worked at The Readers’ Digest Association, Inc. in a similar capacity.
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