More junk mail coming

The Postal Service, desperate to raise cash, cuts a deal with mass mailer Valassis Communications. Newspapers worry about the resulting loss in advertising revenue.

By Kim Peterson Aug 24, 2012 3:38PM
The U.S. Postal Service, which lost $5.2 billion in the second quarter, has scored a deal with junk mailer Valassis Communications (VCI). The move will help the USPS get a little more revenue -- and fill our mailboxes in the process.

Valassis distributes the RedPlum advertising circulars through the mail and newspaper inserts. The three-year deal with the Postal Service gives Valassis a discount on new mail as long as the company sends at least another 1 million pieces out over the next 12 months. The Postal Service expects to make as much as $15 million in new profits over three years in the deal, which discounts new mailings from Valassis by up to 34%.

Post continues below.
Valassis sends 3 billion pieces of junk mail every year, so 1 million more isn't going to make that much of a difference. But the deal is irritating newspaper companies, which fear they're going to lose business as Valassis chooses mail distribution over newspapers.

"Junk mailers compete with newspapers," wrote the Seattle Times in an editorial earlier this month. "If this deal goes through, more ads will be delivered by mail and fewer will be inserted into Sunday newspapers. That is a problem for us."

The Washington Post estimated the deal could cost it as much as 12% of its annual print advertising revenue, according to the Associated Press.

The Postal Service responded by basically saying, hey, we're broke and doing whatever we can to survive. "Given our financial situation, continued e-diversion, and increased competition from alternative delivery services, this is one example of how the Postal Service is pursuing innovations and new products to increase the value of mail and retain our business customers," a spokesman told AdAge.

The Postal Regulatory Commission approved the Valassis deal on Thursday. The commission oversees the U.S. Postal Service.

Valassis shares traded at $25.50 Friday, a slight improvement from where they were a year ago.

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105Comments
Aug 27, 2012 2:11PM
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I have gotten some of the local sources to stop, by showing up at their offices to tell them to stop or buy more insurance. How can I deal with the others, sue them for harassment? At&t and gteico are 2 of the worst.
Aug 27, 2012 2:02PM
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Not making enough money, so instead of improving service and getting overpaid top management they drop pricing? Stupid Stupid Stupid. More mail, less profit/income = more debt.
Aug 27, 2012 12:08PM
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Give us the phone/address were we can request excluded from junk mail. 

Aug 25, 2012 9:18AM
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Any business with that kind of loss is bankrupt and all the employees are let go.  Only those sucking the tax payers keep their jobs and get great benefits and retirements.
Aug 25, 2012 8:28AM
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I save up all the prepaid postage envelopes and load the junk mail into them and ship it to where ever. Credit card apps to ARRP etc.
Aug 25, 2012 12:59AM
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My neighborhood has locking community mailboxes.
So, I'll just take this all this junk mail and cram it back into the outgoing. 
See how they like getting it right back!!!  Ha Ha!

Cut their wages, they're making double their worth.
And then they can't even get the mail in the right boxes!


Aug 24, 2012 8:58PM
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junk mail is  ok as long as it HELPS the USPS!.But that alone will not get you out of the RED!  I do think that they need to cut All over time. Cut post office to five days, rotate day closed from Monday- Sat. close Sundays.  close 1st week on mon- open T_W_T_F_S Closed Sun 2nd week open- Mon-closed Tues-open W_T_F_S_close Sun. open Mon-T_ Close Wed- Open T_F_S_ close SUN. open Mon_TUE_WED_close Thur_Open FRi-Sat-closed Sunday- Open mon-tue-wed-thur-closed fri-open sat close sunday. Open mon_T_W_T_F_closed Sat Sun. OPen mon-closed Tue_Open_W_T_F_S_Close Sun. Never closed three day even when they is a holiday. Close Post office that are within 5 miles of each other. 10 in some areas.Or either make crews and rotate shifts  with cross training! Or Have delivered mail Mon-TUE_WED_THUR_FRI close every Sat- Sun. Only deliver mail five days week. with Office open from 11am - 7pm. this gives people a chance to get there if  they work. there are many ways they can cut cost, just like our congress/senate can cut, and not try to make people think they can only cut medicare ect. There is a lot of wasted women/men walking around doing what the congress/senate man/woman should be doing. I mean that is a job you asked for not a gravy train... CUT THE WASTE! THERE Are A Lot of IT TOO!  Mr. Postmaster do what you are getting paid to do!! Put eveyone on the same retirement plan as the rest of the people in this country. Same health plan, ect. including congress/senate president down...
Aug 24, 2012 8:20PM
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Just more B.S. Our postal service is a joke. This happened more han once to me ,they drop off a letter right house number wrong block.I put it back out in the out oing mail,the post person,stuck it right back in my box. three days in a row.Finally I clipped a peice of aper to it,and wrote in blg block letter wrong steet.He threw the peice of paper on the ground.Then i got Called into court for silly city ordance i was violateing,Was sent a cetified ,return signature required. Our great city inspector wrote me ticket, and he was out for blood $400 worth f fine.I ask a bou the letter he was soppose to send me? He proceeded to tell me i had signed for it.and handed the judge the judge looked at it and said case disissed.Turn out the letter was dropped off one block over and a 90 year old woman signed for it.
Aug 24, 2012 8:11PM
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Who says saving money via coupons that help drive economic sales for our retaillers is "junk mail"? Maybe reporter would like to pay my family of 6's bills for a month and then say the savings I can find via coupons and smart shopping junk
Aug 24, 2012 8:01PM
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Just make the Government keep its hands out of the pot and the USP and the SSI will be ok.
Aug 24, 2012 7:46PM
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Valassis employees 7000 employees.  No junk mail - how many employees will they layoff?  Any cut in junk mail directly affects the economy.  Advertisers lay off employees, printers lay off employees, trucking companies lay off people  Then these people collect unemployment and stop buying goods, taking vacations, eating out, etc. which results in more layoffs.  Never ending cycle.

Aug 24, 2012 7:37PM
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From my perspective, the usps is one of the most incompetent organizations on earth.  We have a cabin in Ok and spend about half our time there.  We forward our mail as some obligations such as property taxes and such cannot always be done on line.  The USPS has continually delivered mail which should have been forwarded or forwarded mail which should NOT have been.  I have been obliged to pay reconnect chares for utility bills which had been disconnected as bills had been or not been forwarded in contradiction to our directions.  They even send us confirmation letters for our instructions and still f it up.   When you go down to complain the postmaster informed us that they are NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE COSTS OF THEIR ERRORS.  

 Then the wussy postman pepper sprays our fierce 16 lb dog who approached him with tail waggin on our own property.

 

Incompetent,  uncaring, irrresponsible and grossly overpaid.  Not to mention financially obtuse.  Let's put our tax dollars to effective use and close down this antidiluvian behemoth

 

 

Aug 24, 2012 7:31PM
Aug 24, 2012 7:22PM
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 save and shred all of the junk mail hat you get per month, shred it and but it back into one of their drop boxes for pickup. we have to dispose of the crap somehow, rather than pay for the trash service to haul off the junk mail let the post office who littered your mailbox pay for it!!!
Aug 24, 2012 7:20PM
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I'd use the post office more if their hours were more convenient.  They are only open when I'm at work.  Kind of difficult for full time working folks to give the USPS their business.
Aug 24, 2012 7:19PM
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Noone will see any more bulk business mail than they did before the recession. The postal Service did not lose 9 billion dollars They did not pay  5 bilion to fund retire costs 75 years into the future for employees who are not even born yet. The Republican house of Representatives created this cost under Bush and efuses to end this overpayment in order to destroy the universal , consitutionally created service so privte corporations can charge Americans whatever they want to delver mail. A few pieces of bulk rate mail in the mailbox keeps this srvice the cheapest in the world, the same cost no  matter where you live  and AT  NO COST IN TAX DOLLARS!

 

 

Aug 24, 2012 7:19PM
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Noone will see any more bulk business mail than they did before the recession. The postal Service did not lose 9 billion dollars They did not pay  5 bilion to fund retire costs 75 years into the future for employees who are not even born yet. The Republican house of Representatives created this cost under Bush and efuses to end this overpayment in order to destroy the universal , consitutionally created service so privte corporations can charge Americans whatever they want to delver mail. A few pieces of bulk rate mail in the mailbox keeps this srvice the cheapest in the world, the same cost no  matter where you live  and AT  NO COST IN TAX DOLLARS!

 

 

Aug 24, 2012 7:17PM
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That is the reason I have a garbage can tied to the mail box post.
Aug 24, 2012 7:13PM
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If they charged first class rates for all of the mail we wouldn't be in this situation. There would be less mail and they could employ less carriers. At least they wouldn't be delivering hundreds of thousands of tons of crap for pennies.
Aug 24, 2012 7:07PM
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THAT Ain't Gonna Help! Just SPAM in the MAILBOX!
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