DIRECT MAIL spend soared to a flying start in 1999 with an estimated £153m spent on consumer direct mail in January, estimates UK mail monitoring specialist MMS Market Movements. The month was the second-highest on record, with 1,248 companies mailing 3,257 creative variants.

As ever, financial services activity dominated the mailing sector, accounting for 30% of spend, followed by publications (20%), mail order (18%) and holidays and travel (4%). The most frequently offered brands were Cornhill’s Senior Security Plan, followed by BCA World Books, First Direct and Bakker of Holland’s seed and plant catalogue.