Advertising service? Postal Service is overstepping 2012.09.19

Written by David Green.

Advertising is essential for the success of a newspaper. It pays the bills to enable a new edition of the paper week after week.

So why is the United States Postal Service (USPS) trying to take it away?

Newspaper owners across the country are upset about a plan by the Postal Service to entice ads out of papers and move them to a USPS favored company known as Valassis.

The Postal Service will provide rebates of more than 30 percent to Valassis to entice advertising inserts from newspapers into direct mail. The goal is to create more advertising mail, at the expense of newspapers that are already in a fragile condition following the economic downturn that began in 2008. Through the recession and the growth of internet usage, advertising declined and never recovered. Now, the USPS is trying to make it even worse.

The Postal Service offer is only for the big players. Valassis can take the rebate and offer a discount to national retailers. Newspapers can’t sign a single contract together to earn their own rebate from the USPS. Small, local stores can’t be part of the deal with Valassis, either, but the USPS also has an advertising plan for them.

It just doesn’t seem right. Sure, the Postal Service has its own revenue problems, but it isn’t a business. It’s a service owned by the government, designed to serve all. It shouldn’t be picking winners and losers in any marketplace.

Does America need a federally-owned advertising service? Our answer to that is “No!”

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  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
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    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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