What some are calling a bad choice of words has squashed a new campaign by the United States Postal Service before it every got a chance to take flight. Signs with the slogan, “In Priority We Trust,” sporting the red, white and blue colors of the U.S. are being pulled down at locations nationwide after criticisms that the slogan is too close to “In God We Trust,” the mantra on U.S. currency.
The signs were only a small portion of a multi-level campaign that has about 100 elements of retail promotions meant to highlight the value in priority shipping. No other parts of the large promotion are affected by the decision to remove the “In Priority We Trust” signs, according to the USPS.
The organization has remained pretty closed-lipped about the whole situation; not disclosing the costs associated with the launch of the campaign (or expenses to shut it down) or how many locations the signage was installed. It has been widely publicized the deep debt that the USPS is in and their initiatives to try and restructure, including pondering ending Saturday mail services earlier this year. That plan was eventually shredded like a piece of junk mail.
Critics of the new campaign component say that the USPS is wasting money by not thinking things through well enough. Other people have chimed-in saying they see no problem with the slogan.
Buffalo, New York’s 2 On Your Side was one of the first to post an article on the topic, yesterday providing a statement from USPS regional spokesperson Tad Kelley, which read (in part),
"Each fiscal quarter, the U.S. Postal Service routinely distributes promotional materials to post offices nationwide. To keep our customers apprised of current offerings and promotions, the "In Priority Mail We Trust" elements were one component of a multi-channel campaign to launch a new sweep of priority products available online and in post offices on July 29. Some customers voiced concerns with the phrase. Being sensitive to their concerns, we directed affected post offices to remove the elements."
On July 17, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe urged Congress to fix the postal service business model to address marketplace realities as the current path is leading the USPS “straight to a large financial chasm.” Donohoe testified before a House committee saying that they system is in need of comprehensive reform now. While the USPS is not a component of the government, it relies heavily on Congress and cannot restructure to get back on the path to profitability without legislation being passed to accommodate its Five-Year Business Plan that was proposed in April.