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CTAMers Down on Home Calls

When it comes to advertising and promotional solicitation, the mail has it.

At least that's the feeling among the majority of respondents to a Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing survey.

The CTAM Pulse poll — "Direct Mail: Wait a Minute, Mr. Postman!" — found that 51% of adults prefer receiving advertising and promotional material through the mail. Conversely, just 1% of respondents said they favored the telephone as a means of receiving such information.

The study echoed the sentiments of those who signed up for the National Do Not Call Registry.

In some good news for cable operators that market new services via bill stuffers, CTAM said 19% of the 1,007 people it surveyed said they prefer receiving advertising and promotional messages in billing inserts and 5% prefer electronic mail.

The survey also found that 75% of respondents said they're more likely to open junk mail from companies with which they are familiar. Within the past three months, 42% of all respondents said they had received promotional or advertising mailings from cable or satellite-TV providers.

Giving marketers some cause for hope, 47% of respondents said they find advertising and promotional mail "very" or "somewhat" useful. That compared with the 31% of CTAM respondents who "wish the promotional mail would stop altogether."

"It's likely that direct-mail advertising and promotion will continue as an important component in a company's marketing plan as customer-initiated restrictions on other forms of communications into the home, such as do not call lists, become more prevalent," said CTAM vice president of research Clay Collier in a statement.

In other CTAM news last week, the organization, in keeping with its policy to rotate creative shows as a means of showcasing their work, named SMASH Advertising as its agency of record.

Boston-based SMASH specializes in the television industry, helping networks, MSOs, cable systems and stations with advanced advertising and interstitial solutions.

The agency will develop advertising and marketing materials for the CTAM Summit, its Digital Conference and the marketing group's various one-day meetings. In addition, it will support promotion of other CTAM products and services, including CTAM SmartBrief, membership-marketing programs and the annual Mark Awards.

SMASH succeeds New York-based MK Advertising, which has completed its three-year commitment to CTAM, and is credited with successfully developing the trade group's brand creative and positioning.

SMASH, which has won a number of awards for marketing and creativity, was responsible for the campaign behind The History Channel's Russia: The Land of the Tsars, the highest-rated miniseries in the network's history. The four-hour event, which premiered on May 26-27, averaged a 3.0 household rating and 3.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research data.