Direct Marketing Assn. members meet with Congressional leaders over postal legislation; catalog mailers speak out against significant postage increases; nonprofit mailers request reduced nonprofit postal rate preferences
November 17, 2011
– Members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and the Direct Marketing Nonprofit Federation (DMANF) today headed to Capitol Hill with the DMA Government Affairs team to participate in DMA’s Postal Hill Day, meeting with key Congressional leaders to ensure that the interests of marketers are safeguarded as the postal reform debate heats up.
“Postal reform is a fast-moving train,” said Linda Woolley, DMA’s Executive Vice President, Washington Operations. “It is vital that Congressional leaders hear from DMA/DMANF members now in order to ensure that their interests are safeguarded in any legislation that may be passed.”
Dozens of DMA members from the nonprofit and catalog communities traveled to Washington, DC, specifically to express concern with two important issues that have emerged as postal legislation moves forward in the House and the Senate. Catalog mailers shared details about the financial hardship their organizations would experience if legislation passed by Congress results in immediate and significant postage increases. Nonprofit mailers highlighted the dire consequences they – and their beneficiaries – would experience if Congress fails to safeguard the nonprofit postal rate preference.
Over the course of the day, DMA and Nonprofit Federation members met with senior Congressional staff supporting Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Tom Carper (D-DE), Scott Brown (R-MA), and Rob Portman (R-OH), as well as senior staff supporting a host of Representatives including Darrell Issa (R-CA), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Dennis Ross (R-FL), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), and Danny Davis (D-IL), among other Members of Congress leading the way on postal reform.
In meetings in the House, catalog mailers urged for the further amendment of Section 401 of the “Postal Reform Act” (H.R. 2309) to require that a mandated Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) study examining the impact of US Postal Service (USPS) excess capacity costs include examination of underwater products like catalogs. They also commended Senate staff for amending Section 402 of the “21st Century Postal Service Act” (S. 1789) to include catalogs in the PRC study, and urged them to keep the provision in any final bill passed by Congress.
Nonprofit mailers asked House staff to remove Section 403 of H.R. 2309, which would slash the nonprofit postal rate preference. They also asked that Section 401 of the bill be modified to include “under water” products, such as standard nonprofit flats, in the PRC study of USPS excess capacity costs, thus ensuring that nonprofits do not face the uncertainty of above-inflation postage increases. In meetings with Senate staff, nonprofit organizations asked for continued support of S. 1789 in its current form, which safeguards the nonprofit postal rate preference and includes standard flats in the PRC study.
“Postal issues become extremely complicated very quickly, so it is vital that we are clear and concise in telling Congressional staff what we need them to do and what it will mean for DMA member organizations,” said Woolley.
About Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
The Direct Marketing Association (www.the-dma.org) is the world’s largest global trade association of businesses and nonprofit organizations using and supporting multichannel direct marketing tools and techniques. DMA advocates 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 end-to-end direct marketing process. Founded in 1917, DMA today represents companies from dozens of vertical industries in the US and 48 other nations, including half of the Fortune 100 companies.
In 2011, marketers — commercial and nonprofit —will spend $163 billion on direct marketing, which accounts for 52.1 percent of all ad expenditures in the United States. Measured against total US sales, these advertising expenditures will generate approximately $1.96 trillion in incremental sales. In 2011, direct marketing accounted for 8.7 percent of total US gross domestic product. Also in 2011, there were 1.3 million direct marketing employees in the US. Their collective sales efforts directly support 7.9 million other jobs, accounting for a total of 9.2 million US jobs.