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Ad Campaign Pushes Postal Reform

The Mailing Industry CEO Council launched an inside-the-Beltway ad campaign to encourage lawmakers to pass postal reform.

The ads will appear in Washington-area Metro stations until after Memorial Day. They also ran in Roll Call and the Hill newspapers. Dave Nassef, federal relations vice president at Pitney Bowes, said the council might run the ads again. The ads, created by Wunderman, cost $35,000-$40,000 and focus on the 9 million jobs in industries that rely on the U.S. Postal Service.

The campaign began earlier this month, when the House Government Reform Committee had originally planned to mark up its postal reform bill. The committee passed the bill this week.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-ME, chairwoman of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, along with Sen. Tom Carper, D-DE, introduced a draft reform bill this week as well. A markup is scheduled for next week.

The Mailing Industry CEO Council is a coalition of 18 CEOs of big mailers and associations including Time Inc., R.R. Donnelley, Pitney Bowes, Wunderman, the Direct Marketing Association and the AARP. Created in June 2002, it aims to unify the $900 billion mailing industry and promote mail's role in business and commerce.

Nassef said reaching lawmakers who don't serve on the government operations committees is key to passing reform.

“The message from the CEO Council is 'You need to look at this issue in terms of what it is doing to the economy or could do to the economy, negatively or positively,'” he said. “We are trying to get members of Congress who may not be engaged in [postal reform] because they think it's a 'postal issue' to look at it as being broader than that and being about the economy.”

The council is not the only group spreading the message. Last month, the Envelope Manufacturers Association's Foundation for Paper-Based Communications' Institute for Postal Studies published a jobs study focusing on the mailing industry.

The study, which pulled together analyses of jobs and the mailing industry, found that many postal-related jobs would be at risk if mail volume declines. The foundation is sharing the information with lawmakers.

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