Sequence of Events

13. Finally on July 1, ZIP Code was appropriately launched and installed throughout the country with the figure and name being exposed through all media and by this point strongly ensconced with the Department and the coding program. Beginning with the April announcement, A.T. & T. began a broad-scale revamping on a local basis of the yellow page directories throughout the country to include local zoning along with the local sectional center prefixes and both visual and written message from Mr. ZIP regarding the total application of the system.

14. There is no question of the establishment and identification of the cartoon character and name in its relation to the Post Office Department any longer. It is true that there is a lubricant manufacturer who has registered the name but from the tone and drift of earlier correspondence between him and Mr. Day, I am confident that he would be more than happy to relinquish whatever conflicting rights he holds in the interest of clear post office usage of the name in conjunction with the cartoon.

15. My reading of the General Counsel’s file would indicate that this one legal obstacle technically would remain to the type of legislation. I propose except for the proviso that A.T. & T. has the right to use Mr. ZIP in conjunction with its yellow page advertising. This would not be a conflict.

16. The intent is simply to make it legally possible for the Post Office Department to have control over the Mr. ZIP name and figure for licensing purposes in order to control its usage and to make the promotion of the program over the coming years self-sustaining. Under such an arrangement, the Department would be able, in my view, to license the use of the figure as it saw fit within the limitations set by the statute. In the case of A.T. & T. within that statute, they could be license sufficiently to use the figure in conjunction with their yellow pages and return to the post office being obvious in exposure upon which, if necessary, a dollar value figure could easily be set. Toy manufacturers and the like, while they may have technically the legal right to use the figure and name, now quite clearly will not do so without authorization from the Post office Department, be reproduced many fold in toys, children’s gimmicks, books, etc., and if the proper legislation is available could provide a framework for licensing fees that would be returned to the Department.

17. Like the Smokey Bear legislation, I contemplated legal requirements that would permit the Department to devote the returns from its licensing arrangements only to the ZIP Code program promotion. The cost of that program is very small in terms of its impact and its need and is even smaller in comparison with commercial and professional budgets directed to similar purposes. Nonetheless, the monies involved are not common to the Post office Department and are an unfamiliar part of budgeting and are precisely the kind of funds that Appropriations Committees could play games with in future years as normal growth of the program was matched by parallel growth in promotional emphasis.

18. Quite readily the program could become self-sustaining and be removed from the budgeting area and become a valuable adjunct to the entire Departmental program were such legislation made available. Significantly unlike Smokey Bear which by its nature is confined to only a very narrow area of application to the overall Agriculture Department the ZIP Code promotion does not or should not in fact cut a wide swath across the entire postal operation making the contributions of this kind of self-sustaining fund far more valuable to the Post office than to Agriculture.   

19. I strongly believe that this kind of legislation would permit the entire public relations and information operation of the department to become sufficiently more effective in just a few years without any additional expenditure of government funds than could ever be expected through normal channels.