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6 September, 2018 - 20:44 By Kate Sweeney

Private Eye and Love Island embrace First Mailing expertise

Cambridgeshire direct mail specialist First Mailing handles large postings for satirical magazine Private Eye among other major customers and has just finished fulfilling personalised bottles, wash bags and phone cases orders for the ITV2 Love Island promotion following the latest series.

Continued growth from its Huntingdon HQ has given First Mailing plenty to celebrate on its 20th anniversary. Founded by Stuart Searle in 1998, the business has expanded headcount and services to ensure it moves as fast as its big-name customers demand – Business Weekly included.

The 21st century First Mailing offers a lot more than basic envelope inserting or polywrapping; its broad array of services include data management, print and personalisation of a large variety of products & materials, fulfilment, postage discounts and digital marketing services. 

Searle says: “We have fully embraced the challenges the industry has presented to us such as adopting ISO accreditations, General Data Protection Regulations, the Blue Planet effect and the ever changing digital market.”

The business is still owned by Stuart with Leanne Carmedy as general manager. The company started with six people in St Ives in 1998 and now has more than 40 people across two sites – Huntingdon and Milton Keynes –and continues to look for new talent as demand grows.

Searle adds: “We have continually invested in our machinery to ensure we maintain a superior standard. Across our two sites we now have seven polywrapping lines and four production lines for automatic envelope insertion, as well as digital and inkjet printing capabilities.”

Besides Private Eye, ITV2 and Business Weekly, major First Mailing clients include RHS, Bauer Media, Charles Tyrwhitt, Premier Holidays and most of the Cambridge University colleges.

The company mails to pretty much every country in the world in addition to its UK services.

First Mailing moved to its Huntingdon site in 2006 to double capacity and opened a Milton Keynes branch in 2010. It is also playing a key role in eco-awareness, helping clients fight the threat of plastic pollution.

Searle says: “Recently a few of the magazine titles we run have moved over to using compostable polythene. Compostable polythene can be simply put out with your garden waste or dug into the soil so it decomposes and is an excellent replacement standard polythene.”

• PHOTOGRAPH: Leanne Carmedy (front left) alongside Stuart Searle pictured with the First Mailing workforce on the company’s 20th anniversary

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