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DMA Calls for Quick Action on Postal Reform
WASHINGTON, February 13, 2006– Now that postal reform bills have passed in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the Direct Marketing Association is urging quick action by the joint House-Senate Conference Committee to resolve differences between the two bills and quickly finalize legislation that will help secure a successful future for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).
"For years, the Postal Service has struggled with declining mail volumes, increasing costs, and an ever-expanding number of delivery points it must service," said Jerry Cerasale, DMA’s senior vice president for government affairs. "And in an era of increasing competition and ever-changing technology, it’s a struggle for the Postal Service to remain economically viable while it is being hindered by an operating structure that dates back to July 1971, which is when the last postal reform law was implemented."
Postal rates increased last month, with additional increases already being proposed for 2007. These increases add up to millions of extra dollars in costs for commercial mailers and nonprofit organizations.
Faced with frequent and costly price increases, many mailers will ultimately be forced to curtail mailing campaigns and seek less expensive ways of communicating with current and potential customers. Cutting back on mailings will not only affect downstream industries, such as paper and printing, but will also further reduce Postal Service revenues, necessitating additional rate increases or even service cuts in order to keep the USPS afloat.
As passed by the House and Senate, postal reform legislation would give the USPS the flexibility to respond to both changing market conditions and ongoing evolution of communication technology, while maintaining the USPS’s cornerstone mission of providing universal service.
However, according to the DMA, it is crucial that the final bill include the following provisions:
"The leadership and postal reform champions of the House and Senate have done a remarkable job over the past year in coming up with a workable set of reforms," added Cerasale. "With 9 million jobs and more than $900 billion in commerce affected by the success or failure of the Postal Service, it’s time to cross the finish line and give the Postal Service the flexibility it needs to operate competitively in the 21st century."
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About the DMA
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the leading global trade association of business and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates industry standards for responsible marketing, promotes relevance as the key to reaching consumers with desirable offers, and provides cutting-edge research, education, and networking opportunities to improve results throughout the entire direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today has more than 4,800 corporate, affiliate, and chapter members from the US and 46 other nations, including 55 companies listed on the Fortune 100.
In 2005, companies spent an estimated $161 billion on direct marketing in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures generated an estimated $1.85 trillion in increased sales in 2005, or 7% of the $26 trillion in total sales in the US economy (which includes intermediate sales). All together, direct marketing accounted for 10.3% of total US GDP in 2005.
The Power of Direct: Relevance. Responsibility. Results.