MFSA touts safety of US mail system

WASHINGTON: The Mailing and Fulfillment Service Association (MFSA)

is launching a campaign to increase confidence in the US postal system.

Dittus Communications will spearhead the effort.

The MFSA, formerly known as the Mail Advertising Service Association, is

an advocacy group representing about 800 companies in the US and Canada

whose bottom lines depend on the delivery of mail.

Fearing that the recent spate of anthrax infections spread through the

system will translate into irrational fear of the mail, the group

intends to educate consumers about security systems already in place to

prevent further spread of disease.

Key to this effort, said Eric Casey, director of marketing for the MFSA,

is building a coalition of like-minded mailers to get the word out. "Our

purpose is to build a sufficiently large coalition so we can do an

effective job of educating the public in terms of why they need not be

concerned about business mail," he said. "We're not a big association.

We know we can't do this on our own, but we want to serve essentially as

the catalyst to get the industry mobilized on this effort."

A meeting will be held this week for interested parties. Materials for

the campaign are expected to hit the street as early as the first week

of December.

To build the coalition, associate VP Jack Cox said the firm will be

looking to anyone who holds a financial stake in the viability of the

postal service, including "credit card companies, direct mail groups,

associations representing different sectors of the mailing industry, and

envelope manufacturers."

The campaign tactics will be decided largely by the size of the eventual

coalition, said Cox. Thus far, the effort consists largely of talking to

local reporters already covering the postal story from the anthrax

angle, and helping them expand the scope of their coverage to include

the impact on local businesses.

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