Dear Catalog Industry Executive:
After issuing an Advance Federal Register Notice last summer requesting industry feedback on potential changes to content standards for Marketing Mail letters and flats, the Postal Service yesterday said it has decided to maintain its existing regulations.
Specifically, in its poorly written notice, the USPS proposed limiting Marketing Mail letters and flats to paper-based, non-merchandise content to accomplish the following: (i) facilitate levels of service expected for the processing and delivery of merchandise including end-to-end tracking and visibility, (ii) move the fulfillment of merchandise out of Marketing Mail, and (iii) reduce operational inefficiencies when machines are unable to process letter-size or flat-size shaped inflexible items.
The ACMA jumped into action on behalf of a few highly-affected member companies.
ACMA’s Intimate Knowledge Pays Off
The ACMA got on this quickly and had several high-level meetings and calls, and then submitted this strong letter. Among other reasons, we confronted postal management for not “keeping faith” with its established vetting process with industry leadership in advance of filing Federal Register notices to avoid waste and unnecessary upset. Top postal leadership reaffirmed this will be done going forward.
We got aggressively involved in this (and early on in the process – also crucial) because we knew two specific members would be highly impacted. Only because they’re committed members did we know how great a threat this would be. The ACMA spoke boldly with USPS executives to make known the inherent problems with the proposal.
Member Interaction = ACMA Rapid Action
This is a great example of why it’s so important for catalogers to be ACMA members and remain in close contact with us. Stuff happens. At the same time, it illustrates how hard it is for us to provide representation and assistance for non-member companies, especially when we are not aware of their business practices and needs.
Numerous other mailing interests helped too, but ACMA provided considerable leadership here. Just further reason other catalogers and their suppliers should join and support the ACMA.
This matter is ongoing, but the notice was effectively withdrawn, which was our original ask. Please contact us if you’d like to hear more.
President & Executive Director
American Catalog Mailers Association