Bid to block Royal Mail pricing plan

Magazine publishers are being urged to give further information on covermounts as part of a submission by the Periodical Publishers Association (PPA) to try and block Royal Mail plans to implement a sized-based pricing structure.

The move could end up doubling the postage costs of magazines in the teenage and women’s sectors who regularly use gifts such as flip-flops and lip gloss to tempt in readers. CDs on music titles are thought to be less at risk as long as they are not in a case.

Postcomm issued its consultation document this week and the PPA has said the more information it can gather by July, the bigger the chance it has of blocking the move.

The PPA has been in talks with the Royal Mail since the proposals were first mooted two years ago. The more extreme price fluctuations affecting A3 tabloid-style magazines have been amended but there are still serious concerns about magazines which carry bulky cover-mounts..

PPA chief executive Ian Locks said: “We have deep concerns that the Royal Mail’s proposals could be flawed through introducing pricing which involves subjectivity.

“When a mailing cost of many thousands of pounds can be doubled on the apparent whim of a Royal Mail frontline operator there is just too much room for individual decision. With weight the steps are graduated and there are not these huge jumps”.

By Ruth Addicott

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