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DMA POLL DATA CALLS FOR POSTAL REFORM LEGISLATION
NEW YORK, January 9, 2002 – In attempting to accelerate the foundering issue of postal reform, the Direct Marketing Association (The DMA) today announced results of a national poll indicating that nearly three out of four Americans are in favor of legislation that would give the United States Postal Service (USPS) "…the flexibility and tools it needs to reform and improve its operations."
Adding to the need for immediate action on postal reform is the results of a recent DMA financial analysis showing that for the first time in 10 years, the USPS is showing a decline in annual U.S. mail volume for fiscal year 2001 - a shortfall of more than 400 million pieces from the previous year. Even more alarming is the USPS' first quarter report for fiscal year 2002 - which shows the impact of September 11 with a decrease of close to 2.8 billion pieces from the same period last year.
"Given the range of alternatives available to mailers today, the results of the analysis paint a bleak picture for the USPS’ ability to remain viable even in the short-term," said H. Robert Wientzen, president & CEO, The DMA. "The data we released today shows that there is a mandate from the populace as well as a market need to move postal reform to the top of the legislative agenda ASAP."
The poll also showed that a majority of Americans "…believe that solving the problems of the USPS should be a high priority."
"As we have done in the past, we continue to call on Congress and the Administration to make postal reform the high priority that it should be," said Wientzen.
Nearly nine million Americans owe their jobs to an effective and efficient Postal Service – generating almost $1 trillion in economic activity, nearly 8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Wientzen, who represents some of the nation’s biggest mail customers, noted that unlike the last time that mail volume declined for two consecutive quarters, mailers have many more options available to them if postage rates continue to increase at above the rate of inflation.
"The growth of the Web and e-mail during the 1990’s means that mailers now have choices and with no end in sight to a string of greater-than-inflation-sized increases, postal customers will simply walk away," Wientzen predicted. "Congress, the Administration and all USPS stakeholders have to recognize that unless the Postal Service is given the legislative ability to compete, it will wither and die."
"This issue has received scant attention on Capitol Hill from all but a handful of representatives. The time has come for action and the time is now," concluded Wientzen.
The random poll was conducted over the weekend of January 6th, 2002.
*Editor's Note: Poll Results are available on The DMA Web site at www.the-dma.org.
The DMA is the leading and largest trade association for businesses interested in interactive and database marketing, with almost 5,000 member companies from the United States and 53 other nations. Founded in 1917, its members include direct marketers from every business segment as well as the nonprofit and electronic marketing sectors. Included are catalogers, Internet retailers and service providers, financial services providers, book and magazine publishers, book and music clubs, retail stores, industrial manufacturers and a host of other vertical segments, including the service industries that support them. According to a DMA-commissioned study, direct and interactive marketing sales in the United States exceeded $1.7 trillion in 2000, including $110 billion in catalog sales and $28 billion in sales generated by the Internet. The DMA's Web Site iswww.the-dma.org and its consumer Web site is www.shopthenet.org. Information about the Internet use tax issue is at www.simplifytax.org.