IntroductionThis display looks at the changes in advertising between 1971 and 2001 relating to the Royal Mail and its products in the U.K. whether it is stamps or other philatelic products.
Stamps combined with commercial advertising go back as far as the 19th century but with the introduction of large scale manufacture and distribution the influence of advertising and sales promotions on the production of specialist philatelic items for the general public can be seen to have increased in recent years.
Stamps are not the only product produced but the presentation of stamps has become a large part of the promotion and consequently of philatelic interest.
Initially presentation packs were used and then specially designed folders or booklets together with, in some cases the standard first day cover, which has often been favoured by Kellogg's. Each company normally found the presentation most to its liking and sympathetic to its product.
The connections between advertising and philately can be divided into sections.
1. The promotion on a non-Royal Mail product gave offers which had philatelic interest i.e. presentation packs, booklets (either stamps booklets or specially designed booklets or packs), postnotes, postal orders, postcards and stamps.
2. The promotion on a Royal Mail product such as a stamp booklet or leaflet required proof of purchase of stamp booklets or other philatelic purchase. This gave a non-philatelic item as the offer, such as postcards, a recipe or garden booklet, chocolates or even cakes.
3. Specialised philatelic items produced or approved by Royal Mail for individual company promotions or longer term sale i.e. W.H.Smith's stamp booklets; Boots birthday cards and Woolworth's gift cards with additional stamp included; Marks & Spencer's birthday cards with a printed stamp impression on the envelope and Sainsbury's Christmas padded CD prepaid envelopes.
4. In 2000 Royal Mail intended to sell stamps self-service style and for this a trial at took place at Wembley in 1998. Products were pre-packed and sold in packs containing cylinder blocks, gutter blocks, quarter sheets and first day covers all available from hanging sales racks The packs were picked up and priced at a check-out and Supermarket Philately had arrived.