New York—In a white paper entitled “Direct Marketing and the Anthrax Challenge; Summary of Observations and Responses,” the Direct Marketing Association notes that 92% of the catalogers and other direct mailers surveyed have not changed their prospect and customer mailings in response to anxiety over anthrax in the mailstream.
And as of Oct. 26, most of the more than 50 mailers surveyed said that the anthrax scare had not hurt their business. What’s more, response from the areas so far affected by anthrax—New York City, Washington, New Jersey, and Florida—was not significantly different from response throughout the rest of the country.
As for the concerns of the mailers themselves, 53% said that they were less worried about consumer panic regarding anthrax than they were about the performance and policies of the U.S. Postal Service. Mailers were concerned that postage delays will cost them revenue. Some marketers also felt that the USPS’s statements and actions have heightened, rather than eased, public fears about the safety of the mail.