Stamps.com puts limits on personalized postage

September 16, 2004|By Frank Barnako | Frank Barnako,CBS MarketWatch

Stamps.com has made some changes since introducing its service that lets you put Mom's picture on a real U.S. postage stamp. Unless Mom is Mae West, or Imelda Marcos, or Bonnie Parker.

The company added restrictions after The Smoking Gun Web site, co-owned by Time Warner and Liberty Media, decided to test the boundaries.

"TSG sought to determine what kind of interesting stamps we could actually create," its editors said. They tried to get stamps processed featuring Lee Harvey Oswald, the Unabomber and Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano. All three were rejected.

The Gun persevered and successfully ordered stamps of New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey and his alleged lover; Monica Lewinsky's blue dress; and Slobodan Milosevic.

The Stamps.com personalized postage service test ends Sept. 30. The U.S. Postal Service will review it and decide its fate.

Meanwhile, Stamps.com has tightened its policy on uploaded pictures to prohibit "celebrity likenesses," political "leaders" and "newsworthy ... individuals."

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