My home mailbox also included catalogs that used different address placements. Some printed the delivery addresses vertically (parallel to the bound edge) in the upper half of the back cover, either on the left or right side, which meet the new requirements. A few even put their delivery addresses in the top half with the traditional address orientation, which reads perpendicular to the bound edge.
Then I found many catalogs, including several big names, that use the vertical style address orientation (parallel to the bound edge) on the bottom of the back cover (as held with the bound edge to the right). Those addresses will need to move to the top.
If your catalog doesn’t meet the new requirements on March 29, 2009, it could be disqualified for Standard mail rates. That means you’ll have to pay First Class single piece rates. Conceivably, if you meet the address placement requirements but not the font and spacing, it could be mailed at Standard mail rates without the automation rate discounts. But even that's a significant postage rate increase.
What to Do
My advice to catalogers that won’t be able to make the necessary changes by next March is to work with the USPS to try to get an exception or extension.
As you become more familiar with the new requirements, you'll notice the USPS has not only published the requirements, but also mixed in other changes it would like to see made. These USPS “preferences” are not requirements, so review them in that context. Some of the “preferences” or “guidelines” may benefit the processing and delivery of your catalog, but if meeting those requirements is costly or burdensome, you don’t need to make them in order to comply.
Spread the Word
Based on recent conversations I’ve had with different catalogers, it’s clear that many aren’t even aware of these new requirements.