The prospect of more Royal Mail strikes and continued disruption to the postal service could lead marketers to switch from printed direct mail to other platforms, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

Speaking to Print Week, Alex Walsh, the head of postal affairs at the DMA, said that the prospect of marketers abandoning offline direct mail for other media would only arise if there is further industrial action.

He added that strikes have brought the issue “up to boardroom level”, making marketers “forward some plans to test other forms of marketing” but acknowledged that levels of direct mail have not yet suffered as a result of the strikes.

Recent research by Royal Mail revealed that between September and December 2007, industrial action resulted in just 78.4 per cent of first class letters reaching their destination the working day after they were posted, compared with a 93 per cent success rate in first quarter.

The strikes come after Unite, the union that represents Royal Mail managers recently voted by an 85 per cent majority to reject plans to reform the existing pension scheme.

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