Return to sender, indeed
The U.S. Postal Service faces immense budgetary shortfalls. So the agency won’t financially sink or swim on stamp-marketing decisions.
Still, it’s troubling to know that the USPS lost $1.2 million in printing costs because it produced 1 billion stamps starring “The Simpsons” — and sold only 318 million.
The five images of Homer, wife Marge and their kids Bart, Lisa and Maggie, which sold for 44 cents in 2009 and 2010, weren’t nearly as popular as the USPS marketing department assumed they would be.
According to Wednesday’s Washington Post, the badly flawed quantity was based on the absurd assumption that “Homer Simpson would be twice as popular as Elvis Presley.”
Yes, “The Simpsons” has drawn a substantial, loyal audience on the Fox network since the series’ 1989 launch.
But Homer is no Elvis.
A Postal Service inspector general’s report criticized this blatant failure “to align stamp production with demand.”
Still, Janet Sorensen, director of marketing and service in the inspector general’s office and leader of the audit team that produced the report, offered this reassurance: “The forever stamp has gone a long way in preventing overproduction. They need to get a better process for projecting the need, and they are implementing that type of process.”
Yet why would a new process be needed for agency officials to realize that “The Simpsons” could never sell as many stamps — much less twice as many — as “The King of Rock ’n’ Roll”?
As Homer habitually says: “Doh!”