A weekly analysis of the direct marketing field in association with Royal Mail.

A weekly analysis of the direct marketing field in association with Royal Mail.

July 2000 was a mixed month for direct mail advertising. Total spend of pounds 107m was marginally up on June's pounds 106m, yet the more important year-on-year figures were 6% down. Non-financial mailings were 14% down on 1999, but financial mail was 13% up. Some non-financial mailers, FMCG and mail order for example, bucked the downward trend. Savings and investment mailers bucked the upward trend and the number of firms mailing was down on last year. So, what's going on in consumer direct mail? A couple of factors seem to be in play.

First, direct mail advertising continues to grow, but growth is increasingly being fuelled by financial mailers, which have so far spent 7.5% more than last year. Non-financial mail is not faring so well, with year to date growth of 4.4% and a decline in spend for this year to date compared with 1998.

Second, as mailings become more narrowly targeted, the average mailing size per creative is falling as companies get better at building, profiling and targeting databases. This is seen in this month's activity, where, despite an overall 6% drop in activity, the number of creatives used rose against last year.

July's biggest mailers included DFS regionalised campaign; Barclaycard; American Express using DM to support its TV campaign; Procter & Gamble; and Cahoot, the internet bank from Abbey National.

Jeremy Ridgway is an associate director of ACNielsen MMS

Consumer direct mail advertising July 2000 versus July 1999

               Number of creative executions          Estimated spend in

                                                               pounds #m

Market area                 July 1999  July 2000    July 1999  July 2000

Financial                         933        936           33.46   37.71

    Cards                         141        202           11.82   15.25

    Investments                    12          3            0.48    0.05

    ISAs and savings               60         28            1.61    0.74

    Life and pensions             120        113            2.41    1.92

    Mortgages                      27         25            0.45    0.95

    Motor/home insurance          136        159            4.92    4.72

    Personal loans                146        188            5.29    9.47

    Other financial               291        218            6.48    4.61

Non-financial                    1520       1523           80.44   69.41

    Automotive                    175        131            7.26    3.93

    FMCG                           81         81            7.71    8.85

    Gardening/household           240        257            5.88    6.54

    Health and beauty             110        116            5.15    3.60

    Holiday/travel/leisure        202        182            3.94    3.56

    Mail order                    440        497           14.82   16.24

    Publications/music            172        175           13.52   10.96

    Retail                        100         84            2.40    1.09

    Utilities/telecoms            143        191            4.42    2.87

    Other                         305        232           15.34   11.77

ACNielsen MMS monitors direct mail activity and spend using a panel of 10,000 people profiled and weighted to be representative of the UK population. Spend is estimated by multiplying grossed-up mailing volumes against average post and production costs for mailpacks in each area.

Data does not include requested items, door-drops or inserts. Detailed information on direct mail is available via


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