Magazine Publishers of America Launches $10 Million Postal Reform Campaign

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The Board of Directors of the Magazine Publishers of America announced on Sunday it is about to launch the first leg of a three-year, $10 million campaign designed to fight the 15-percent rate increase for magazines the U.S. Postal Service announced earlier this month, and to aggressively pursue reform of the postal system.

While full details of the campaign have not been announced, the MPA -- which is the industry association for the consumer magazine business representing more than 240 domestic publishing companies -- said it intends to seek the support of other like-minded organizations, such as book and newspaper publishers, as well as publishing partners and vendors that stand to be affected. In addition, the MPOA said it will seek out the services of high-caliber professional lobbying and public relations firms to help get its message across.

"The Postal Service's message to the magazine industry is clear. Our readers and we are being told that we have to pay the price for the Postal Service's inherent inefficiencies and out-of-control cost structure. It is intolerable. We intend to fight the battle with every weapon at our disposal," said Nina B. Link, President of the Magazine Publishers of America., in a published statement.

The Board committed the MPA to a full-scale attack on the rate proposal. Expressing disappointment with the USPS' inability to manage its operations and to control costs, the MPA will seek to educate the public about the failings of the current postal system and the need for fundamental restructure and reform. The MPA's initiative will operate on many levels -- from a grassroots campaign to one on Capitol Hill.

The program will also explore delivery of magazines by private companies and alternative operators who can deliver magazines to readers in a timely, inexpensive manner. In addition, the MPA said it will soon begin a advertising campaign within the pages of MPA member magazines that would reach nine out of 10 American consumers.

Christopher M. Little, president of Meredith Corporation Publishing Group, Des Moines, IA, who is also vice chairman of the MPA board of directors and chairman of the MPA government affairs council said, "We want the American people and their elected representatives to know what's at stake here -- not just for their magazines, but for the future of the postal system itself. We will be heard, and we hope others will join with us."

Don Logan, chairman, president and CEO of Time Inc. and MPA board member added, "No one should underestimate the difficulty of the task MPA is undertaking. But this effort must be made, and we support it fully."

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