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European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers AISBL

GEA & FEPE Congress 2019


Print is still the most effective and the most trusted advertising channel

54% of all digital advertising is not seen


Brussels, 8 October 2019, Press Release


This was the central message at the Federation of European Envelope Manufacturers' annual Congress, held in Porto 3-5 October 2019.


“Print advertising channels are among the most trusted with consumers when making purchase decisions" according to Mark Davies from Whistl. Consumers feel more valued when they receive something in their letter box rather than by email. Davies noted that the envelope has become the favourite medium for charities who see a 58% increase in response rate when using an envelope for their door drop communication. Davies also presented data from the interactive advertising bureau (iab) which stated that 54% of all digital advertising is not seen, mainly due to ad blockers, fraudulent practices, plug-ins and loading problems.


Mark Harrison, Head of Markets of the International Post Corporation confirmed that addressed direct mail is a particularly powerful tool – both for loyalty and acquisition. According to a study by the Austrian Post, 34% of recipients read direct mail for more than 5 minutes, much longer than most online ads. Furthermore 42% said they were influenced by direct mail when grocery shopping.


Simon Biltcliffe, founder of Webmart, a UK print service provider presented their service to help clients maximise R.O.I. and growth by optimising print marketing and print procurement. He emphasised that the new generation of advertisers are digital natives and do not want to understand print terminology. “You need to talk to them in their language” he said "and make print buying very easy."  Webmart has developed an innovative tool allowing customers to receive an offer for a printed product based on a photo of any direct mail piece they come across.


For transactional mail, e.g. invoices and bank statements, consumers are often not given the choice when service providers or authorities move to digital invoices, according to David Gold from Royal Mail. Keep Me Posted UK is a campaign that protects consumer choice and Gold reported on their new 5 year action plan which aims to protect 300 million customer relationships by 2020. Working with local government has already resulted in giving 170 million customers the choice between post mail and email for communication with their local authorities.


In Spain a campaign with the same goal has helped to protect consumer rights. Emilo Ovideo, manager of the campaign Yo decido como recibo reported on penalties imposed for abusive clauses which have been achieved through campaign action. The biggest case so far was a €3 million fine for Telefónica, Orange and Vodafone for using unlawful clauses not giving their customers the right to receive paper invoices/contracts. To date, there are national campaigns in six European countries as well as in the USA and Australia.


Despite these positive reports, the European envelope producers continue to be challenged by an accelerated volume decline. Jean de Couëspel, Chair of FEPE’s Markets Committee explained that a general move towards digitalization, uncertainty in the market created by political events such as Brexit, US trade wars and the current economic situation have all contributed to this negative trend. 


 Maynard Benjamin from the Global Envelope Alliance stated that key for envelope manufacturers is diversification and process improvement. “The Future of Envelope Manufacturing will be in our ability to repurpose ourselves to stay ahead of trends, not chase after them!” said Benjamin.


Other speakers were Emanuele Bona from PPPC the global graphic markets, Sayaka Ikeuchi from the Japanese envelope manufacturer Imura, Hector Fuentealba from Foresta.io on how to reduce complexity and to increase manufacturing efficiency, and Miriam Elst from Bricks & Brains who gave
participants an interactive demonstration of how Lego Serious Play, a methodology based on neuroscience, can help Creative Problem Solving in business.


The Congress was attended by 98 delegates from 17 European countries as well as guests from the USA, South Africa, Argentina, Israel, Chile and the UAE, representing envelope manufacturers and their suppliers. It was kindly sponsored by UPM, Stora Enso, W+D, AW Window Film, Eukalin, Irplast, Leipa,  Navigator, Sidaplax and Transcendia. 


Next year's FEPE Congress will take place on 24-26 September in Ljubljana, Slovenia. 

For further information please contact Lisa Kretschmann:  info@fepe.org or %plus2 2 779 4001.

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If you have any questions regarding the congress, please do not hesitate to contact Lisa Kretschmann on 0032 2 2779 4001 or info@fepe.org.

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