Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gamekeeper Turned Poacher?

Royal Mail has released a publicity image of thr British Grand Prix Commemorative Sheet due out on 8 Juk 2010. It features images of past British World Champion Grand Prix drivers. When these sheets first appeared Royal Mail told us that the purpose of the Commemorative Sheets (as RM dubbed them) was to "mark anniversaries that never made (the current) stamp programme". When the Olympic Games Commemorative Sheet appeared last year w were told that this was a "one off" as the Olympic organsiers were expecting something appropiate to help promote the Games.

Returning to the recently announced Grand Prix sheet, don't get me wrong, I think the sheet design is very pleasing and it should appeal to a broad range of sheet collectors alike. However, I do find the latest sheet a little worrying for the Philatelic Trade who can now safely assume that the scope of these Commemorative Sheets can be anything Royal Mail choose, placing them in direct competition with the Business sheet producers who are alread seeing interest in these sheets wane probably due to the sheer number of sheets being produced. But that it not my main beef. They are now competiting with Business Sheet producers on unfair terms in my view - not only can they produced these sheets at a fraction of other sheet producers, undercutting and undermining retail costs of Business Sheet producers but they can disrupt the production of Business sheets casuing production delays and hence distort and control the market.

What is you view? Did Royal Mail get it right with this sheet or have they stepped over the line?