The Freedom of Choice

Over the past five years, the Keep Me Posted campaign has been working hard to retain people’s right to receive paper bills at no extra cost. Now, with 12 countries running the campaign and a number of successes under its belt, it’s spreading its message worldwide. From September 16 this year, BT altered its policy on customer billing. There was no big fanfare, not much in the papers, and certainly nothing on TV. They stated that if any of their customers wanted to receive their bills on paper, they would have to pay the utility giant £3 for each one. That’s £3 for printing a few sheets of A4, putting them in an envelope and putting it in the post. In anyone’s view, £3 for a paper bill (on top of the bill itself) is a lot of money. But for the elderly, the poor, the disabled, those without access to the internet, or simply those that feel they shouldn’t be penalised for wanting to receive their bills on paper, it’s at best unfair, at worst financially dangerous. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Announcing the Pantone Color of the Year 2019

Vibrant, yet mellow PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment. In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral welcomes and encourages lighthearted activity. Symbolizing our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression. Representing the fusion of modern life, PANTONE Living Coral is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media. Click read more below for additional detail.
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More Catalogers and Online Merchants and Suppliers Must Speak Up Before It’s Too Late

Dear Industry Member: Thanks to those who have taken action. Via our action@catalogmailers.org address, we’ve observed dozens of executives contacting their legislators requesting communications to Congressional leadership that no retroactive remote sales tax collection and an orderly phase-in both be added to must-pass legislation in the lame duck. Yes, we’ve been sounding the alarm bells for several weeks now, but here’s the problem: The Speaker’s office tells us they have not received enough input from House members that they view this as an essential step prior to this Congress adjourning and a new Congress being seated. If we are to get an orderly phase in, hundreds of companies must take action on this matter. So please spread the word and be sure every member of Congress in all districts in which you have a presence hear from you and your colleagues. If this is to happen, an overwhelming industry outreach is required. Details on what to say and how to find your representative are found here. Time is of the essence. Congress does not care that many companies are totally consumed with servicing holiday orders. Only widespread outreach now will make a difference. Please reach out to Congress today. Happy to help or address questions. Thank you. Sincerely, Hamilton Davison
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Ink and Hong Kong Airlines launch +852 magazine in the heart of Hong Kong

Ink has been working with Hong Kong Airlines for a little over a year. In that short time, the airline has grown quickly, new teams have joined and big plans set in motion. We saw an exciting opportunity for their inflight magazine (previously Aspire) not just to excite readers but lead the way in shaping the airline’s brand identity in the years to come. We were fortunate to be working with a team, led by the airline’s Chief Marketing Officer, George Liu, who championed the initiative from the start. His team were clear that they wanted the new magazine to celebrate their home city, and we used that as the jumping-off point for a completely new concept, unlike any other magazine in the skies. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Publisher Revenue for eBooks Increased in October

October 2018 marked the second time in two years that publishers saw modest revenue growth in eBooks (+4.4%), with increases for the format across all trade book categories. Aside from downloaded audio, eBooks had the largest percent of revenue growth for the month, compared to October 2017. Publishers’ revenues (sales to bookstores, wholesalers, direct to consumer, online retailers, etc.) were $1.16 billion in October 2018, down from $1.17 billion in 2017 (-0.8%). The trade book categories either remained flat or declined in October, while educational and scholarly publishing saw some revenue increases. For the year to date (Jan. – Oct.), revenue for trade publishers was up by $213.8 million (+3.5%). Despite the gains in trade publishing, overall publisher revenue was down by $87.2 million (-0.7%) for all tracked categories (Trade, PreK-12 Instructional Materials, Higher Education Course Materials, Professional Publishing, and University Presses). Click read more below for additional detail.
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Ulta Beauty Announces Third Quarter Fiscal 2018 Results

For the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2018 • Net sales increased 16.2% to $1,560.0 million compared to $1,342.2 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2017; • Comparable sales (sales for stores open at least 14 months and e-commerce sales) increased 7.8% compared to an increase of 10.3% in the third quarter of fiscal 2017. The 7.8% comparable sales increase was driven by 5.3% transaction growth and 2.5% growth in average ticket; • Net income increased 25.3% to $131.2 million compared to $104.6 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2017. For the First Nine Months • Net sales increased 16.3% to $4,591.9 million compared to $3,946.9 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2017; • Comparable sales increased 7.5% compared to an increase of 12.1% in the first nine months of fiscal 2017. The 7.5% comparable sales increase was driven by 4.5% transaction growth and 3.0% growth in average ticket; • Net income increased 27.9% to $443.9 million compared to $347.1 million in the first nine months of fiscal 2017. Click read more below for additional detail.
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L Brands Reports November 2018 Sales

L Brands, Inc. reported net sales of $1.596 billion for the four weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018, compared to net sales of $1.267 billion for the four weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017. Comparable sales increased 9 percent for the four weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018 compared to the four weeks ended Dec. 2, 2017. The company reported net sales of $9.980 billion for the 43 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018, compared to net sales of $9.077 billion for the 43 weeks ended Nov. 25, 2017. Comparable sales increased 4 percent for the 43 weeks ended Dec. 1, 2018, compared to the 43 weeks ended Dec. 2, 2017.
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Print Readership Endures Steady Decline (mediapost.com)

The Pew Research Center released the results of a survey this week that signal more hardship for print publishers. Some 76% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 49 who read the news — rather than watch or listen to it — prefer to find that news online. Of those 50 and older, 43% preferred the web as opposed to print. In addition, three times as many 18- to-49-year olds who watch and listen to the news preferred to gather that form of news online too, rather than those over 50. The study marked a healthy uptick in readers turning to the web for news since 2016. Just two years ago, 49% of respondents over 50 who preferred to read the news preferred printed paper, while 32% preferred to go online. Click read more below for additional detail.
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Wholesale Corporation Reports November Sales Results

Costco Wholesale Corporation reported net sales of $12.77 billion for the retail month of November, the four weeks ended December 2, 2018, an increase of 9.8 percent from $11.63 billion last year. For the twelve-week first quarter ended November 25, 2018, the Company reported net sales of $34.31 billion, an increase of 10.3 percent from $31.12 billion during the similar period last year. For the thirteen weeks ended December 2, 2018, the Company reported net sales of $37.57 billion, an increase of 10.2 percent from $34.09 billion during the similar period last year.
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UPS Announces U.S. Rate Changes

Effective December 26, 2018, the rates for UPS® Ground, UPS Air and International services, as well as UPS Air Freight rates within and between the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, will increase an average net 4.9%. UPS continues to make investments in capacity, technology and reach of our transportation network in order to support our customers’ growth, visibility, and service needs. Rate increases support ongoing expansion and capabilities enhancements while ensuring UPS is fairly compensated for the value and high service levels provided. For additional information and to review the announced rates visit http://www.rates.ups.com
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