Some Thoughts on the Proposed NSA Between Valassis and the USPS

This video will give you a good overview of the special rate agreement the USPS has proposed for partnering with Valassis.

About Jim Hart

I've been working with or for newspapers for the past 31 years, the first 15 in advertising, the past 16 years in all areas related to direct marketing. I work with newspapers to improve the ROI for their advertisers. The better return the advertiser gets, the more they will come back and tell their friends.

Comments

  1. Bob Brown says:

    Excellent Jim. Thank you for the clarity.

  2. Jim Paquette says:

    Very informative.
    Good information on the Valassis strategy, the implications of the NSA and potential recommendations should the NSA be approved.

  3. Peter Santiago says:

    Real eye opener. Must watch.

  4. Gayle Black says:

    Excellent presentation. Agree that Sunday Select is the best and most immediate newspaper option to keeps advertisers. Thanks.

    • Thanks Gayle. The really heavy Sunday packages don’t really lend themselves to mail, and Select allows the retailers to deliver to more people who really want their ads. couldn’t agree more.

  5. David Stone says:

    Jim, great presentation, and as you suggest the industry needs to ban together and point out to the USPO of the revenue loss if we all went to alternate delivery.

  6. Jim, Thank you very much! Excellent info showing all Newspapers better be on their toes!!! I am the Print Manager at the OC Register and I appreciate you keeping me informed of what is coming down the pike! I will be sending this out to all my colleagues for sure.

  7. Keith Bartlett says:

    Thank you Jim, this is a wake up call for all newspapers in the marketplace. You must attack the market with a strong TMC and P&D program.

  8. Siddharth Dugar says:

    Very informative Jim!
    Interesting recommendation on alternative delivery.

  9. Steve Kane says:

    Thanks Jim! Need to leverage the fact that people prefer advertising delivered in their Sunday paper to the mail. Further, guaranteeing delivery is a specialty newspapers share – the post office is not reliable for timely delivery – a 3 day delivery window won’t be good for business if a retailer can’t staff for a sale properly. You raised excellent points on the pricing structure – we need to work together to make sure they see the true value newspapers bring to the table.

    • Thanks for the reply Steve. Good points. The USPS, in spite of their stated policy, has been willing to guarantee a predominant day of delivery for Valassis mid-week. I have been told face-to-face by over a dozen local postmasters that they have been told that Valassis had to be delivered on a specific day. When the NAA asked, during the Q&A portion of this process, whether Valassis had been guaranteed a day of delivery, the USPS replied that they would follow their policy. Which means that they have been assured of a day. That said, if Saturday goes away, that leaves Friday or Monday. I’ll take Sunday.

  10. Good video. It would seem to me if the Post Office pulls this one off that it would kill the daily papers and with a predatory pricing setup like this one it would leave one alternative for the distribution of pre-print advertising unless newspapers can put a private postal system or an alliance of private postal systems together for national distribution. Putting the dissemination of advertising and information totally in control of the Federal Government-Post Office scares the heck out of me. Free enterprise goes right out the window and the government controls prices, profits etc. I for one am not interested in the Post Office controlling the free flow of information.

    • Thanks for the response Mike. I’m not too concerned about the USPS controlling the dissemination of advertising. Very concerned about the USPS using a combination of government granted monopoly and the NSA concept to steer as distribution to one public company over scores of others. The response of “you can get an NSA too” just doesn’t hold water.

      • What about the competitive advantage Target and Walmart would have over Cub and Rainbow as (banned) grocers and the advantage the Lowes and Home Depots would have over the Menards of this world. If a store has to be in 30 states in order to be able to be included in a package then regional chains would be at a disadvantage to the big national chains. This doesn’t seem like a level playing field at all.

        • Mike, Couldn’t agree more. The underlying goal is to try to get the USPS more revenue without compromising EDDM or existing solo mail business, or allowing existing mid-week Valassis shared mail customers to switch, etc., etc. Reverse engineering this NSA around that goal leads to some pretty contrived clauses. Most of which slight some segment of the market or another.
          Jim

  11. Charleen Benge says:

    Jim, when is the vote for this “rebate proposal”?

    • Hi,
      The PRC responded on the 15th with a series of questions and a request for more information from all parties. The response was due 6/22, but the nature of the questions required the NAA to solicit specifics from 100’s of newspapers. A request was granted allowing responses by 6/29, which is this coming Friday. At the rapid pace this is going, I would expect to see a ruling of some kind by about 7/6, possibly a bit later due to the holiday.
      Jim

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