Legal Concerns for Catalogers ’07: Lawyers Outline Key Use-tax, Gift Card Issues
April 3, 2007

During a session at the recent NEMOA conference in Cambridge, Mass., George Isaacson and Martin Eisenstein, both attorneys from the Lewiston, Maine-based law firm Brann & Isaacson LLP, pointed out that such recent changes as the shift of power in the House and Senate to Democratic control could revive the use-tax debate. They also touched on some key legal issues involving the rapidly growing gift card market. During his presentation, Isaacson said that there are several dynamics in play this year that make the federal use-tax issue less predictable than it’s been in the past. “Every year since Quill Corp. v. North Dakota,” he said

Editor’s Take: Lobbying
December 1, 2006

I recall watching a TV sketch more than 20 years ago in which Bette Midler depicted this mopey, depressed woman whose reaction to just about all situations in life was (in the character’s whiney, Noo Yawk accent), “Why bothuh?” Performed solo, the skit and her character were at the same time hilarious and chilling. When I think of lobbying for key catalog legislative issues — namely, postal reform and privacy — that character often creeps into my mind. Postal is perhaps the more pressing of the two concerns for catalogers. Since the first postal reform bill was introduced more than a decade ago, the Direct

Keep Uncle Sam at Bay
January 1, 2003

As a cataloger, you must comply with several regulations. Yet I often encounter catalogers who unknowingly do not comply with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and other regulatory agencies’ rules. The following is an overview of the major regulations to follow when developing your merchandising, creative and operational guidelines. Remember, all of these rules apply to both your print and online catalog operations. FTC’s Mail Order Merchandise Rule This law covers the representation you make regarding merchandise and when customers will get the products. And it covers appropriate remedies when those expressed representations aren’t met. Substitutions. This is an area in which I

Postal Reform: A Call From the Trenches
November 1, 2002

“I pay $3 million a year to the U.S. Postal Service, and I wasn’t going to just say ‘OK’ to their continuous rate increases,” said Chris Bradley, president and CEO of Cuddledown catalog, during a jam-packed session on postal reform held at the New England Mail Order Association’s (NEMOA) conference in New Hampshire in September. Bradley and a group of other Maine-based mailers, including catalogers, printers and direct marketers, banded together earlier this year in an effort to educate their legislators on the impact that three postal increases in 18 months has wrought on their companies. Their efforts are instructive for other mailers

Continuity Marketing: Pleasures and Pitfalls
May 1, 2000

Several years ago I went to Peter, my doctor, for a routine checkup and saw some colorful boxes on the end of the counter. Patricia, the office manager and Peter’s wife, said they were dietary supplements for people over the age of 50. “Should I get them?” I asked. “I take them and I feel wonderful,” she said. “Do you and Peter get a piece of the action?” She said she did, which I had no problem with. So I ordered LifePak Prime for my wife Peggy and myself—60 little cellophane packages, each with four horse pills to be taken twice a day with