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Swiss Post's free "Einkauf aktuell" programme: Only on the market for nine months

Photo: Oliver Berg / dpa

Another advertising item is to disappear from the mailboxes of households: Deutsche Post wants to discontinue the brochure bundle "Einkauf aktuell". The background to this is increased costs, for example for paper and energy, the Bonn-based DHL Group announced on Monday. The product will be phased out on April 1, 2024.

"We have to react to the fact that brick-and-mortar retailers in particular are reducing spending on classic weekly brochures for retail advertising," said Benjamin Rasch, Head of Marketing at the Post & Parcel Germany Division. In other fields, the situation is still different – printed booklets and flyers continue to be used there.

The transition period until the final discontinuation next April gives business customers the opportunity to adjust their advertising strategy, the Post explained. This would also give printers time to adapt to the change.

Criticism of plastic packaging

In 2003, the company began distributing "Einkauf aktuell" to consumers. Every Saturday, the bundled brochure advertising was delivered to up to 18 million households in Germany.

For Swiss Post, direct mail is an important business area in order to make full use of its network of sorting centres and delivery staff. Last year, the Group transported a good 14 billion letters in Germany – almost half of which were direct mail. However, Swiss Post is feeling a further, significant decline in volumes this year: At the beginning of this year, the Bonn-based company counted five percent fewer letters and almost eight percent less direct mail than in the same period last year.

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Environmentalists have long been a thorn in the side of the advertising mailings because a large part of the paper ends up unread in the trash can. After criticism of the plastic packaging of the brochure bundles, Swiss Post had partially switched to paper banderoles.

The retail giant Rewe had already announced that it would no longer send out advertising brochures on paper. The DIY chain Obi had also refrained from doing so. Environmental associations have been calling for a phase-out of printed advertising mail for some time. "Fewer advertising brochures not only mean less waste, but also more climate and resource protection," says Barbara Metz, Federal Managing Director of Deutsche Umwelthilfe. Every year, about 28 billion printed advertising brochures are distributed unsolicited in German mailboxes, the association criticized.