Attack Aftermath: Mailers Try to Gauge Effect on Mailings

Stamford, CT—As the nation tried to return to business on Sept. 12, catalogers tried to gauge the effects of the previous day’s attacks on New York and Washington on their businesses.

“Unfortunately, on Monday and Tuesday of this week, we had launched a major e-mail initiative to prospects–over 1 million names,” says Dave Chaimson, director of marketing for professional audio software marketer Sonic Foundry. “Response to these offers has been down to nothing. We think the campaigns will be rendered mostly ineffective, as there are more-pressing matters to attend to than responding to an offer from Sonic Foundry.”

As for the mailings of its print catalogs, “I just put on hold our catalog mailings to Washington and the New York-New Jersey area indefinitely,” Chaimson says, “since we had a drop scheduled to depart today.”

Venus Swimwear president Darryle Scott says also he might delay mailings into New York next week, using zip code suppression. Ditto Idea Art, which sells specialty paper for desktop computers: “We will, as events unfold, do whatever we can to not send mail” to lower Manhattan, says director of marketing Rebecca Pierce.

And Bill Heyman, co-owner of Supreme Audio, which sells audio equipment for dance instructors, says he may cut back on his next catalog mailing overall. Heyman usually mails a fall catalog between Aug. 15 and Sept. 1, but this year he delayed the drop because his company moved its offices this week.

“I’ll have to give [the date of the mailing] some thought,” Heyman says. “I could have dropped a catalog by Sept. 20, but now it certainly won’t be until Oct. 1 at least.”

Several other catalogers contacted by CATALOG AGE, including VWR Scientific Products, public-safety equipment mailer Galls, and Terry Precision Bicycles, have no plans to change their fall mailings.

But Day-Timers, which sells business planners and calendars, debated changing the cover of its fall catalog, scheduled to mail the first week of October. The cover image shows a skyscraper. “We looked at it [Wednesday] and thought, Oh, my God,” says vice president of marketing Dave Christensen. “We were divided in our point of view: Does it look like pandering, or does it show a sense of resolve? We decided as a team that certain symbols show strength and unity and that [a skyscraper] could be such an image.”

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