DMA's Greco again asks postal governors to reject catalog rates

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In an e-mail message sent to members on March 9, the Direct Marketing Association said it asked the postal governors to reject the Postal Regulatory Commission's specific recommendations for flat-shaped mail and to send them back to the PRC for reconsideration.

The DMA and other groups are working aggressively to let the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors know that some of the specific rate increase recommendations issued by the PRC on Feb. 26 would be devastating to many commercial and nonprofit members.

"We firmly believe that the PRC can mitigate the exorbitant rate increases for flat-shaped mail without having to alter its recommendations for other classes of mail," John A. Greco, president and CEO of the DMA, said.

The board of governors has received hundreds of comments from DMA members and others in the mailing community, and many have also copied their responses to the PRC Chairman and to members of Congress, Mr. Greco said.

"Your efforts have certainly sent a loud message to Washington that the PRC's unexpected recommendations for flat-shaped mail will, if implemented, have negative consequences for many mailers," he said.

Now, Mr. Greco said, the mailing community must wait and see what action the governors will take. There are reports that the board of governors will act this week, "but as of this moment, we do not have confirmation as to exactly when the governors will announce their approval or rejection of the PRC's recommendations."

Mr. Greco also said that as the industry looks forward to a new system that will help protect and preserve direct mail as the lifeblood of direct marketing, it is still possible that the USPS will squeeze in another rate case before the new system takes effect in June 2008.

"That would mean yet one more rate increase under the old, pre-reform ratesetting rules," he said. "As the DMA continues its efforts to mitigate the current rate increase proposal, we must also be ready to discourage the USPS from initiating a new rate case request that could be equally harmful, if not more so, than the one we are fighting now."

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