I was reading a comic in the newspaper this morning, which joked that the post office should put celebrities on the walls, and “most wanted” criminals on the stamps.
That got me to thinking – why haven’t we made better use of the images that go on the stamps? Millions of letters are handled per day – that square inch of real estate might be valuable. (Actually, I knew the answer – it’s because the post office is a big, partially-government-controlled bureaucracy with no financial incentive to innovate, but I digress). I bet a company would be willing to slap their logo on stamps and hand them out for free. If that form of advertising proved effective for building some sort of mindshare, all letter-sending in the US could become free to people because it would be ad sponsored. I did a Google search and it appears there is in fact a pilot program to start allowing this sort of thing.
…advertising was barred from stamps until earlier this year when Congress overturned a 19th-century law barring commercial images on stamps.
Of course it was.