USPS Pulls TV Ads, Mails 145m Anthrax Warnings

30 October 2001

The recent anthrax attacks have prompted the United States Postal Service to suspend all TV advertising and instead mail anthrax warning postcards to 145 million homes alerting the public to the risk and how to deal with it.

Explained USPS spokesperson Gerry Kreienkamp: “We're giving the public as much information as we know. When the current situation subsides, then we'll do a re-evaluation of what we're going to do. We just felt it was a prudent thing to do.”

Postal centers have been on high alert since earlier this month when it became evident that the USPS was being used to disseminate potentially deadly anthrax spores. Infected letters have been received at the offices of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and a number of major TV and press media companies.

Feeling the chill of the ad campaign suspension is Chicago-based Leo Burnett, the agency handling the $139 million USPS account, won last year on the strength of a new campaign with the tagline: “The Postal Service is everywhere so you can be anywhere.”

Postal Service print ads are still appearing – but of the total budget an overwhelming majority, $110m, is spent on TV.

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