Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Coupon Mailer Urges Postal Rate Hike for Magazines

Coupon Mailer Urges Postal Rate Hike for Magazines
ValPak targets 'low-volume, high-cost magazines.'
By Joanna Pettas
In an era of rising postal rates, it appears it's every mailing class for itself.
Direct marketing coupon mailer ValPak filed comments with the Postal Regulatory Commission last week encouraging the commission to raise Periodicals rates by a double-digit percentage-an increase that would be well above the CPI rate cap, according to American Business Media. If the commission finds it can't get around the CPI cap, ValPak recommends that the entire CPI-based increase be targeted on "low-volume, high-cost magazines that are circulated nationally."

ValPak's comments are in response to the finding that Periodicals failed by a wide margin to cover its class's postal costs in fiscal year 2007, according to the USPS's filing of its cost and revenue data by class of mail.

ABM is planning to file responding comments by the February 13 deadline, arguing that an excessive increase for Periodicals which make up less than 4 percent of mail volume would have a "nearly immeasurable effect on other mailers." The comments will also highlight the fact that the present Periodicals rates-on average, 11.8 percent higher than the previous ones-were in effect for only two and a half months of fiscal year 2007, that the new rate design will have cost-reduction effects and that the new Flat Sequencing System, set to be deployed this year, will lessen the cost of Periodicals for the USPS.
ABM and ValPak did not immediately return requests seeking comment. A spokesperson for the Magazine Publishers of America said it's too premature to comment.

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