USPS Ads Target Black Merchants

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The U.S. Postal Service has begun an advertising campaign aimed at African-American small-business owners, the USPS said last week at the Black Enterprise/Microsoft Entrepreneurs Conference in Nashville, TN.

The campaign, which extends through September, features testimonials of individuals and organizations showing their business success using USPS products and services. Some radio spots in key markets began May 13. Print ads will run in national and regional magazines and regional newspapers along with online advertising.

The postal service will begin a targeted direct mail campaign to 50,000 African-American business owners over the summer.

Chisholm-Mingo Group, New York, the agency the USPS uses to target the African-American market, created the campaign. Chisholm-Mingo also worked with Leo Burnett USA, the postal service's lead agency for strategy, creative and production.

The campaign is part of a larger effort the USPS began in late April with Leo Burnett to the general small-business audience. The postal service sees small business as a growing and untapped sector at a time mail volumes are declining.

Also at the conference, the USPS hosted a panel discussion on the effectiveness of direct mail marketing for small businesses. The annual conference celebrates the successes of African-American-owned businesses and provides strategies for business building.

The USPS also recently announced that its "Direct Mail Made Easy" seminar series that began in January is exceeding expectations. The seminars, held at various locations in cities nationwide, cost $39 and are targeted to small-business owners.

"We are successfully reaching small and mid-sized business customers with the value of direct mail for advertising messages," said Gary Infante, USPS program manager.

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