DMA and ACMA Statements on Exigency Filing

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Shipping and standard mail show increases.
Shipping and standard mail show increases.

Here are excerpts from the official reactions to the Postal board's exigency filing from the Direct Marketing Association and (DMA)  and the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA).

DMA Will Fight

The DMA is extremely disappointed by the action of the Postal Board of Governors today as they voted to raise postage rates above the rate of inflation. DMA is seriously concerned that this action will significantly harm the Postal Service and the mailing industry in the very near future.   Rather than lowering prices at times of weak sales — a common practice in businesses across the United States — the Board of Governors has misguidedly decided that raising prices will help cure its lack of sales.  On the contrary, the problem of decreased mail volume will only worsen as mailers cease to rely upon the United States Mail to reach consumers.  DMA will fight this request at the Postal Regulatory Commission as we work to correct this error by the Board.  As we saw in 2007, above-inflation postage increases can have a devastating effect on mail volume.  DMA will work to avoid that folly in 2013.

ACMA Fears ‘Class Warfare'

In the run-up to this announcement, there was some discussion that an exigency increase would include a surcharge on underwater mail products such as Standard Flats. Some told us to expect a 10%-12% increase on catalogs. While we are disappointed with today's announcement, the increase is about half what might have occurred had ACMA's and other mailing industry groups not stridently advocated about the dangers any exigent increase would pose for mail volumes. That said, in an exigency case, the PRC can make adjustments to the actual amount levied for each mailer in part or in whole. Sadly, some mailers may advocate that the PRC apply the increase differentially, hitting some groups much harder than others. We hope this situation does not devolve into the "class warfare" between different mailing interest that characterized rate battles prior to 2007.

An increase of nearly 6% will do real damage to an industry still struggling to adjust to the exorbitant 2007 rate hike where many companies are struggling mightily, mail volumes are depressed, and the availability of quality names to mail is diminished. Clearly catalogers need to shift to a war footing and push back hard legally, as well as in the court of public opinion (public relations) and on Capitol Hill (government relations). ACMA will continue to use all means at our disposal to hold any annual increase to the CPI cap. To do otherwise is an abandonment of a hard-won gain in the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) of 2006.

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