California Promo Ban Concerns Distributors
February 22, 2011
decision meant to help cut the state's budget deficit,
California Governor Jerry Brown has instructed all state agencies to stop
purchasing promotional items. Brown, who referred to ad specialties as
"doodads and plastic gewgaws" during a press conference, says California has spent $7.5 million on
promotional products since 2007. "We don't need that stuff,” Brown said.
“Not a cent of taxpayer money should be spent on flashlights, ashtrays or other
unnecessary items, most of which likely end up in landfills.”
response, distributors believe Brown is not only misguided but also misinformed.
"He's obviously not talked to any marketing gurus that would tell him the
amount of money ad specialties save companies," said Sam Knox, vice
president of San Diego-based Clever Advantage Inc. (asi/163117). "It's
unbelievable he would say what he did. He used promotional products in his
campaign. I sure have seen a lot of Jerry Brown bumper stickers around."
some in California are calling Brown's new initiative against promotional
products just a symbolic gesture that doesn't get to the core of the state's
budget problems. California Republican Party Chairman Ron Nehring
said that Brown's ban on ad specialties is nothing more than a diversion.
"Let's get real," he said. "Jerry Brown's war on swag is a
distraction from his reluctance to confront the cows sacred to the state's
government employee unions."
distributors are concerned that the new ban on promotional products by
government offices in California will spread to other states, as the
focus on budget-cutting intensifies. In a poll on www.asicentral.com since the
news from California broke, 59% of industry
professionals said they believe that other states will follow California's lead by telling their state
agencies to stop purchasing ad specialty items. "If we do nothing, the
bans will spread," says David Woods, president of Counselor Top 40
distributor AIA Corporation (asi/109480). "It is in our hands. It requires
constant attention and lobbying by all of us on the local level to sell the
value of promotional products."
took office for his third non-consecutive term as California's governor in January, is proposing
$12.5 billion in cuts to state spending, along with substantial tax increases.
Brown also recently ordered a hiring freeze and cut back on state cell phones
and vehicles as part of his effort to reduce a $25 billion budget deficit.
Governor Jerry Brown hear your feelings on the issue, go to
http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php or call (916) 445-2841. You can also send concerns about
his latest decision to his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jerrybrown