Denny's Daily Zinger: Two Magazine Covers - Oxymorons
March 17, 2014

An old newsstand magazine salesman once said to me, "You wanna sell magazines? Have a cover you wanna kiss." Cover No. 1: In 1976, I was in a circulation meeting in the office of Esquire's legendary, beloved publisher Clay Felker. Suddenly, renowned designer Milton Glaser, co-proprietor of Push Pin Studio, stormed into the meeting unannounced along with a retinue of flunkies. Slamming a design down on Felker's desk

5-Day Delivery: Cost Cutting or Congressional Gambit?
February 11, 2013

As a citizen and a close follower of postal goings on, I realize the United States Postal Service and Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe ultimately are not to blame for the 5-Day Delivery announcement which transpired on February 6. Postal customers, labor unions, direct marketers and Americans in general have reasons to be angry—or at least very concerned—as to what is really going on here

New 'Save the Post Office' White House Petition Started
January 25, 2013

Another petition asking President Obama to “Save the Post Office” has been started on the White House’s “We the People” website. The petition is in response to the recent Esquire article “Do We Really Want to Live Without the Post Office?” and begins with the same glaring mistake as the article: "The Postal Service is not a federal agency. It does not cost taxpayers a dollar. It loses money only because Congress mandates that it do so." While it’s undeniably true that the USPS is self-supporting, and wouldn’t have a net loss absent the 2006 PAEA pre-funding requirement, it IS,

The Top 50 Mailers
September 1, 2010

The more things change on Target Marketing's Top 50 Mailers list, the more they stay the same. As I write this, mail volume continues to plummet; the U.S. Postal Service reported a drop just shy of another billion pieces for the third quarter of its 2010 fiscal year. So with increasingly less First-Class and Standard Mail in circulation, what do consumers find in their mailboxes these days?

The American Express Mess
January 29, 2008

What triggered this column was a letter to this publication from Anthony Greene in London on my musings last week about how to gussy up important e-mails in order to give them gravitas. In our exchange, he wrote: Thank you, Denny. A nice and utterly relevant piece. Your story about the Ticketmaster e-mail, and how much you appreciated their thoughtfulness, has reminded me of what I regard as one of the greatest missed opportunities in the history of marketing. Every time I use my American Express Centurion Card I cannot help but notice the following words printed on the front, “MEMBER SINCE 82”. So,

Philly Phundraising Phollies
December 20, 2005

Plus … Best Wishes for a Joyous Holiday Dec. 20, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 57 IN THE NEWS Letters | Academy of Natural Sciences not serving well It's indeed a shame the museum is going under, but The Inquirer's article ["Dinosaur Museum Itself Is Threatened"] stresses its importance only to the scientific community. The museum hasn't been stressing its importance to the general public for many, many years; that neglect shows, and that's why the public has turned away from it. --Allene Murphey, Letter to the Editors, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dec. 16, 2005 In the 1980s, the Whitney Museum of American

Beware of 'Rock Star' Designers
November 8, 2005

Their work can be all about them Nov. 8, 2005: Vol. 1, Issue No. 46 IN THE NEWS The Book on a Graphics Superhero Mr. Kidd's home is more like a very expensive toy store. It reflects the same graphic punch seen in his book covers, which helped transform the American book jacket from a decorative bit of packaging into a striking evocation of the writing it contained. Its items are arranged like a pocket shrine, as much a carefully curated archive of Mr. Kidd's obsessions and evolving eye as his new book, "Chip Kidd, Book One: Work: 1986-2006," published this month by Rizzoli.

Breeze Through Airport Security! (Hopefully.)
June 23, 2005

For Steve Brill and harried airline passengers, this could be really big On October 27, 2001, I took a taxi to Philadelphia's 30th Street Station and boarded a train to Chicago for a direct marketing convention. In the aftermath of 9/11, I was not afraid to fly. Rather, I had heard horror stories about travelers spending four hours dealing with airport security and even then missing their flights. I figured low-key down time on an overnight train was better than eight hours of high tension at PHL and ORD. While on the train, I wrote a piece for Target Marketing magazine's Web site saying

Direct Marketer of the Year: Beth O’Rorke, COO and Vice President, The Economist
October 1, 2004

Playing by the old rules—and winning big. In 1981, Beth O’Rorke had been out of work for three months after spending a year as circulation manager for a start-up magazine called Prime Time, which had run out of money. Robert Cohn of the PDC circulation modeling consultancy steered O’Rorke to The Economist, a British magazine that needed someone to take charge of its direct mail, which she could do in her sleep. On her way to the interview with circulation director Peter Kennedy, O’Rorke bought a copy of the publication at a 42nd Street newsstand and blinked in disbelief. Here was a skinny little

Famous Last Words - Jayme
July 1, 2001

By Denny Hatch Bill Jayme: In His Own Words Note: Bill Jayme's first promotional effort, "The Cool Friday" letter for LIFE, was reproduced in the October 2000 issue of TM. This is Jayme's last promotional effort, written for The New York Times, which failed to run it. —D.H. Bill Jayme, a direct mail copywriter prominent in magazine publishing circles, died in his home in Sonoma, CA on May 18. The cause of death was emphysema. He was 75. Over the past 30 years, Jayme and his partner, Finnish-born graphics designer Heikki Ratalahti, created the mailing packages ("junk mail") that successfully launched more than three dozen