Royal Mail has announced it will start printing 'Delivered by Royal Mail' marks on all “
machinable mail items” from September this year. The Direct Marketing Association is alarmed and concerned.
The mark will be printed on all UK mail that goes through Royal Mail's sorting machines. In a rather brief statement the company said it has made the decision “
in recognition of the fantastic work that Royal Mail postmen and women do in delivering mail to 29 million addresses across the UK, six days a week.” The real reason is dissatisfaction with 'downstream access mail' - mail items that are collected and sorted by competitors such as TNT Post but delivered by Royal Mail. Such items display the logo of the competitor, and not the logo of Royal Mail. It is estimated Royal Mail currently makes a loss of around 2.5p on every piece of downstream access mail it delivers.
The left margin of the Royal Mail mark will be 172mm from the right hand side of envelopes. This doesn't leave much space in the top left corner of envelopes, and the Direct Marketing Association is concerned the Royal Mail logo may be printed on top of logos and/or other messages such as return addresses. Speaking to Printweek Alex Walsh, head of postal and environmental affairs at the Direct Marketing Association, said: “
What are businesses supposed to do with things like stocks of pre-printed envelopes - junk them? Or just accept that there's going to be a Royal Mail mark overprinted on their logo, which will look a right mess?”
Royal Mail acknowledges the mark may indeed be printed on top of existing artwork. However, the company insists the space designated for the mark “
is the least likely to be used for return addresses or any other form of artwork.”
Alex Walsh is not convinced: “
We are disappointed that Royal Mail has chosen not to consult the industry ahead of this announcement to understand the problems this would cause its business customers. It is already causing a lot of concern within the direct marketing industry and we are consulting with the regulator, other trade associations and postal user groups to decide on the next course of action.”