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New ASI Web Site Raises Industry Standard


State-of-the-Art Design, Easier to Navigate, Latest Industry News and Information

November 10, 2003, Trevose, PA — The Advertising Specialty Institute, the largest member organization in the promotional products industry, today launched an expanded and enhanced corporate Web site at http://www.asicentral.com.

The site provides promotional products professionals with access to live, online customer service, continuously updated news on the industry from the award-winning editors of ASI's magazines, and one-stop shopping for all ASI products and services.

"It is tough to find quality, authoritative information about our industry on the Web and our goal is to make ASIcentral.com that place," says Timothy M. Andrews, president of ASI. "Our mission for ASIcentral.com is to help educate people who want to know about the promotional products industry. ASIcentral.com will make news and information available to our distributor and supplier members and provide a single search location for members, potential members, employees, potential employees and advertising buyers."

The new ASIcentral.com design, based on months of user feedback and testing, employs the latest Web standards for design and navigation, dramatically improving the user experience. In creating the site, the development team used much of the same technology ASI uses in building and hosting Web sites for member distributors and suppliers.

"ASI hosts more than 5,000 Web sites for our members – by far the largest creator and host of Web sites in the promotional products industry," Andrews says. "Using ASIcentral.com as a showcase allows us to demonstrate what we can do for our members, and how important having a quality, easy-to-use Web site is to their business." Some new features of the site include:

  • Live, on-line customer service. A customer service rep will be available to instantly answer questions in real time, during regular working hours.
  • Daily industry news updates from the editors of The Counselor, Advantage and Imprint magazines, as well as archived feature articles and press releases.
  • Single access to information about all ASI products and services, including interactive demonstrations of online products and advertising information for print and online products and services.
  • Calendars of key industry trade shows, meetings and events.
  • Information about career opportunities, including current openings and benefits associated with becoming an ASI employee.
One goal of the new site was to make essential information easier to find, and also make it available to wider audiences. While the former site required a password for all access, the site launched today allows about 90% of the content to be accessed without a password. People will be able to learn more about the promotional products industry and ASI, and see how the 54-year-old company's database and marketing products and services are essential for anyone serious about being a professional in the industry.

Some portions of the site – principally those areas containing contact information for other members – will continue to require passwords and be accessible only to qualified, approved members of ASI. Existing passwords will continue to work on the new site. ASI does not make the email addresses of members available to non-members, and has a number of protections in place to ensure that information members place on the site remains confidential.

"ASIcentral.com will continue to evolve over coming months," notes Andrews. "Our intention is to move much of our daily business process and interaction with members to the Web, saving them time and money and allowing them to manage their relationship with us however they want – by calling, by email or through ASIcentral.com."

Advertising Specialty Institute is the leading business information center in the promotional products industry, with a membership of 20,000 distributors (sellers) and suppliers (manufacturers) of promotional products. Suppliers use ASI print and electronic resources to promote their products to more than 17,000 ASI distributors. Distributors use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain more than 650,000 promotional products, to locate supplier products and to promote their services to buyers of promotional products. ASI was founded in 1950 and employs a staff of 500. The company offers catalogs, informational directories, newsletters, magazines, websites, and databases, and provides a variety of interactive business, marketing and selling tools.

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