Royal Mail pricing plan angers DM industry

Royal Mail has angered the direct marketing industry by asking postal regulator Postcomm to consider a proposal to price mail by size rather than weight.

Royal Mail claims that the method is an easier pricing system that more accurately reflects the costs of handling mail because it is the size and shape, not the weight, which determines the cost of processing and delivering most mail.

Many direct marketing companies believe that the proposals will be a handicap to the industry. A common claim is that the proposed charging system will stifle creativity, forcing the industry to move towards standard small packaging.

Carlson Marketing Group’s European development director John Shaw says: “The latest pricing proposals could once again see the direct marketing industry tarnished with accusations of junk mail. Direct mailings would become much more uniform and, by looking at the example of Germany, we would also see response rates fall dramatically.”

Forms of size-based pricing already exist across much of Europe and in the US. Royal Mail has carried out research to ensure these changes are as fair as possible for its customers and the changes are unlikely to be implemented until April 2005.

Black Cat managing director Stephen Callender supports the pricing proposals, adding that charging by weight has led to restriction in mailings rather than the other way around.

Latest from Marketing Week

Influencers, consultancies and the recruitment crisis: The key topics of conversation at Cannes Lions

cannes lions

Cannes Lions 2018: Marketers turned out in force to advertising’s biggest annual event. But away from the usual talk of purpose and creativity, some big issues such as the recruitment crisis, how advertising responds to the #MeToo movement and cleaning up the influencer marketing space were discussed.


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here