U.S. Post Office Ads Have Never Really Delivered the Goods

It might be time to get serious

It’s easy to poke fun at the poor post office these days. The service started by Benjamin Franklin in 1775 lost $5 billion this year—the seventh year of red ink in a row. Americans sent 44.3 billion fewer pieces of mail this year than in 2008, according to a recent study from IBIS World. You don’t need an MBA to determine why the mailman’s problems now go well beyond snow, rain, heat and gloom of night in the swift completion of his appointed rounds. The new hindrances are email, social media, cheap long-distance calls via cellphone. All have made sending cards and letters (a hefty 43 percent of U.S. Postal Service business) tumble down to somewhere between quaint and irrelevant.

@UpperEastRob robert.klara@adweek.com Robert Klara is a senior editor, brands at Adweek, where he specializes in covering the evolution and impact of brands.