The debate over gay marriage has proved to be a godsend for Royal Mail as surging hate mail pushed their 2012 profit from GBP 39m to GBP 211m.
Royal Mail CEO Moya Greene said the stellar result justified its strategy of giving gay marriage issues a platform:
“The heady cocktail of religious intolerance and homophobia works a significant proportion of the population into a lather each time a celebrity ‘comes out’ in favour of same-sex marriage. When you pour more petrol on the fire in the form of a strident counter-attack by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the liberals and gays send a tsunami of letters in return.”
Greene said that the beauty of the strategy was that it both catered for their traditional customer base of elderly people with a grievance and time on their hands, while bringing a whole new “pink” demographic out of the closet and into the Post Office:
“To see both groups queuing side by side, bought together by mutual hatred, but now with a shared interest in bitching about the 14p price rise in a second class stamp brings tears to my eyes. You wouldn’t see this sort of happy ending in the online comments section of the Daily Mail.”
As well as the increase in mail volume, “upselling” to the hate market had also helped the bottom line, according to Greene:
“We have a variety of products starting with a relatively inexpensive kit consisting of pre-cut letters of the alphabet and glue – a must for the budget hater who craves anonymity. Our premium product, ideal for the wealthy hater who has everything, is a pre-packaged severed horse's head with an attached message in blood – obviously we sell both ‘for’ and ‘against’ options.”