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ACMA Needs Help to Challenge Damaging 10-Year Postal Review

Hopefully, you attended ACMA’s Postal Nightmare web event this week (though if you did not, I encourage you to click here to view the replay) and you better understand the grave implications of the PRC’s recent Order on the 10-Year Review. Our discussion clearly illustrated the challenges all users of the mail are experiencing right now. We also laid out the concrete steps we can take to forestall, ameliorate, reduce or manage the steep climb of mailing costs we are facing.

This truly needs a widespread industry response now; otherwise, 2021 will surely begin the death spiral for mail. It is stunning that officials in Washington have demonstrated such disregard for the realities of our operating businesses, seeking only more money from business mailers to sop up the rapidly-expanding costs for the benefit of the nation.

The industrywide response to the 10-Year Review will likely have to include these elements:

  1. litigation to halt or modify the damaging impact of the recent Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) order;
  2. aggressive, widespread constituent outreach to Congress seeking action on long-stalled reform to America’s postal system, and addressing unfunded mandates currently paid for by mailers;
  3. and building on recent media interest in the subject, and a targeted public relations and grassroots campaign to reinforce item 2 above so that all mailers, their suppliers, their employees and families are fully engaged (and enraged) over the sorry state of the US Postal Service.

The alternative is unfathomable: Not only will your postal costs rise 30% to 50% over the next five to 10 years, but you will not know about it with more than three months’ advance notice, making it virtually impossible to properly manage your business.

Obviously, this will take resources and a modicum of executive time.

Our Ask & Your Need
Donate generously to ACMA’s Postal Action Fund to fuel a strong pushback to this outrageous development. Given the magnitude of the situation, donations and activism are also vitally needed from both ACMA members and non-members. We have less than 30 days to challenge this in court. We must mount the GR and PR activities immediately. ACMA plans collaborative activities with other business mail associations but ACMA must have funding to play a leadership role in this effort to make sure that unique catalog issues are addressed.

Make no mistake that without the will and the means, you and everyone will be facing the beginning of the death spiral for mail. To be clear, ACMA does not currently have the ability to affect change without your strong support and follow through.

Your immediate step: (a) write a check to the ACMA war chest (again, click here or send us a note with your pledge and we’ll follow up) and (b) start building / strengthening your presence with your elected officials. (Whether you’re a member or not, I urge you to contact us for specifics on how best to do this.) Ask everyone else what they are doing to address this gigantic threat.

Otherwise, without strong action now, it’s a virtual guarantee that you will face multiple, compounding annual or semi-annual postal rate hikes that make 2007 look like a sideshow.

We look forward to hearing from you soon.

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Hamilton Davison
President & Executive Director
American Catalog Mailers Association
hdavison@catalogmailers.org

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Restricted Status: Each Fund will be separately administered as restricted under the direction of the ACMA Board of Directors by the ACMA Treasurer and our association accountant. An elected Officer from the Executive Committee or the ACMA Board will authorize disbursements. Details on expenditures will be made available to any material contributor on request. Restricted funds may be released only upon authorization of the benefactor or in the event the contributing entity is defunct, by vote of the ACMA Board.

Use of Funds: Moneys from each fund may be used for hiring lobbyists, economists, attorneys, consultants, public relations or government relations personnel, conducting research or other surveys highlighting positions favorable to cataloging, supporting coalitions or other groups allied to our positions, paying for advertising aimed at influencing elected officials or other stakeholders, organizing grass roots outreach, education or advocacy in support of public policy positions or for other tactics favorable to ACMA policy positions. Money raised will not be used to support any political candidate or political party; these moneys must come from a Political Action Committee.

Lynn Noble

President & Executive Director

New Member Development & Acquisition; Postal Affairs

Lynn Noble is ACMA’s Vice President, Industry Relations, having joined the ACMA in May 2015, following an extensive direct marketing career in private industry as well as the US Postal Service. He is responsible for leading the membership development efforts for the ACMA through new member acquisitions and providing enhanced member value.

Throughout his career, Lynn has held key marketing & sales positions with several leading direct marketers, as well as several high-level management positions with the US Postal Service.

In 2009, at the request of the ACMA, the US Postal Service initiated a new position of Catalog Manager to lead the Service’s efforts to stabilize and grow the catalog industry. Lynn returned to the USPS to lead those efforts and was instrumental to developing a stronger industry partnership between the Postal Service and the catalog industry. Serving as the product manager for catalogs, Lynn helped to raise the awareness of catalog-specific business challenges within the executive ranks of the USPS. During his tenure, the ACMA and catalog companies enjoyed a collaborative and progressive environment that produced more stabilized rates and inclusion in key USPS promotional opportunities.

Just prior to joining the ACMA Lynn was the USPS’s Manager, Strategic Account Operations, leading a team of senior sales professionals who focused exclusively in the Catalog, Mail Order, and E-commerce arena. In addition to his Postal positions, Lynn previously held key positions with leading direct marketing companies, including Cox Target Media, Market Logic, Catalina Marketing, Freesamples.com, and Advantage Direct.

Paul Miller

Vice President & Deputy Director

Association Matters, Marketing / Communications, Membership Relations

Named Vice President & Deputy Director in January 2010, Miller came to the ACMA following a lengthy career of more than two decades following the catalog/multichannel/e-commerce/retail businesses. Reporting to ACMA president & executive director Hamilton Davison, Miller oversees marketing and communications, membership development, and organizes and oversees ACMA’s National Catalog Forum, while working with Davison on most of ACMA’s postal-related efforts.

Miller started his career as a reporter with Catalog Showroom Business, following a form of retailing that was led by the likes of the Service Merchandise and Best Products retail chains.

After several years of editor/reporter roles with business magazines that followed the toy and gift industries, Miller was named associate editor of Catalog Age magazine (now Multichannel Merchant) in 1986. He rose up the ranks at Catalog Age over the next 18 years to be the magazine’s senior news editor.

Beginning in the late ’80s, Miller became Catalog Age’s postal beat reporter, where he’d follow key postal events and pull out the key catalog mail-related issues for readers. During that time, he attended many Mailers Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) meetings and National Postal forums.

After leaving Catalog Age in 2004, Miller consulted with several catalogers and multichannel suppliers for a time, he was named news/website editor at Commercial Property News. Less than a year later, he was asked to take the reigns at Catalog Success (now All About ROI) where he served as editor-in- chief from 2006 till the end of 2009.

 

Mike Plunkett

President & Executive Director

Washington, legislative, lobbying matters

ACMA appointed Michael K. Plunkett as its President and Executive Director in January 2024, succeeding founder Hamilton Davison. Mr. Davison moved on to own and run a company. Mr. Plunkett brings years of executive leadership experience having been the President and CEO of the Association for Postal Commerce (PostCom) since 2017.  In the newly-formed dual role, he will continue his current role with PostCom and the two organizations will operate separately.

During his tenure, PostCom has continued to lead the mailing and shipping industry on policy and regulatory matters and to work with Government agency partners to advance issues of importance to members. Mr. Plunkett is also President of the Delivery Technology Advocacy Council, a nonprofit launched in 2020 to concentrate on delivery and logistics technologies.

Prior to PostCom, Mr. Plunkett accumulated more than 25 years Postal experience with the United States Postal Service in numerous executive roles in operations, marketing, product development and pricing.  As a leader within the Postal Service’s management team, Mr. Plunkett developed a well-earned reputation for innovation by leading efforts to develop pricing agreements for domestic services and in the development of the forever stamp and the priority mail flat rate box.

Mr. Plunkett has testified on pricing and policy issues before the Postal Regulatory Commission and Congressional subcommittees.  He has authored and presented papers on postal policies, economics, and operations for National and International conferences.

Mr. Plunkett holds Masters Degrees in Business from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a Sloan Fellow. He earned a Bachelor Degrees in Economics and Finance from the Pennsylvania State University.