DMA leaders push for presidential commission on postal reform

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Washington, D.C.--Direct Marketing Association President & CEO H. Robert Wientzen on Thursday met with U.S. Treasury officials who are working with the White House on the U.S. Postal Service fiscal crisis. According to the DMA the focus of the meeting was reform of the 1970 law under which the USPS currently operates. Wientzen, representing the direct and interactive marketing industries, pushed for a presidential commission on postal reform.

"The President [Bush] is, in fact, looking to appoint a commission," said Jerry Cerasale, senior VP-government affairs at the DMA, speaking Thursday to direct marketers at Direct Media Inc.'s Annual Co-op conference in White Plains, N.Y. "We hope this will be announced some time soon."

Cerasale estimated that the next postal increase, which could come as early as January 2004, would be around 10%.

He also discussed regulatory issues affecting e-mail marketing. "E-mail to many is now viewed only as spam," he said. He cautioned that while there is no federal or state law that outlaws e-mail append, marketers should exercise restraint. B-to-b marketers need to consider big issues, such as a recipient's fear of getting computer viruses through e-mail, Cerasale said.

The blocking of legitimate permission e-mail by Internet service providers is another hot-button issue. "We've had a lot of fights with the ISPs," he said, vowing the DMA lobbying agenda would continue to address the issue.

--Carol Krol

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