Paper price hikes put pressure on marketing budgets

I refer to the latest round of paper price hikes introduced by all UK paper merchants on Monday 2nd November 2009.

These paper price hikes of between 5-8% affect both coated and uncoated papers and boards. They come despite significant restructuring and cost reduction programmes implemented by the paper mills and merchants. The merchants claim that the impact of the Sterling’s continued weak value against the Euro has resulted in paper prices that are currently the lowest in Europe. Mainly for this reason, coupled with the escalating cost of pulp, returns from the UK market have fallen to the point where they are unsustainable for the paper mills.

Printers who ultimately attempt to pass on the increase to their clients, face the nightmare task of trying to make the increase stick when British Printing Industry Federation (BPIF) survey statistics* show that only 31% of UK printers are working at over 80% capacity during the period 1 – 11 September 2009.

Extra pressure put on marketing budgets by paper price hikes

To the business owner or marketeer looking to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the downturn, doubts could be raised as to the sense in utilising print collateral as part of their marketing strategy. Our advice still remains the same; that a well conceived, well planned, multi-channel strategy using a combination of online and offline media, delivered to a well researched, targeted audience will more often than not win out on the day.

By working in partnership with experienced professionals, such as the guys within the print management division of Mulberry Square, the impact of these paper price hikes can be managed and solutions can be found to overcome these obstacles created by the adverse economic conditions we are experiencing at this time.

*The Printing Outlook report is based on an online survey carried out during the period 1-11 September 2009. The survey consisted of 114 companies employing 10,958 people with a turnover in excess of £1.1bn.