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Counselor PromoGram
Vol 1130, June 17, 2014
ASI Power Summit Canada Begins
The second annual ASI Power Summit Canada is underway at the Queen’s Landing resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON. The event opened last night as attendees competed in The Amazing Cocktail Race, a walking-tour game that challenged teams of participants to solve clues, snap pictures with local legends, and even belt out lyrics from Justin Bieber tunes.
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Of course, throughout the race, attendees got to sample the best in regional wines and spirits. The evening concluded with a dinner at the Prince of Wales Hotel – a staple on the town's scenic main street.

This morning's sessions opened with a keynote Q&A, as Tim Andrews, ASI's president and CEO, interviewed economist Brian Lee Crowley, the managing director of the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Focusing on trends within the Canadian economy, Crowley spoke to the impact of changing demographics and how industry firms can take advantage of opportunities in the evolving marketplace. Crowley called Canada's focus on the development and transportation of its natural resources a "tremendous opportunity" for companies selling promotional products in Canada. "Canada is one of the few places in the world that not only has an abundance of natural resources, but also knows how to manage them," Crowley said during this morning's keynote session.

Another highlight of the morning schedule was the presentation of Counselor's Canadian State of the Industry report. The session tabbed the manufacturing, financial, and construction sectors as the strongest for ad specialty sales in Canada; revealed that 65% of Canadian distributors made sales gains last year; and identified e-commerce companies as the greatest threat to businesses going forward. Other key findings included: 83% of distributors identify referrals as their top source for new business; 25% of suppliers believe their most difficult challenge for 2014 will be remaining profitable under pressure to cut prices; and 53% of suppliers expect to increase their marketing spend in 2014.

Remaining sessions at the two-and-a-half-day conference will include strategies for winning deals from Fortune 500 companies, a primer on navigating global shipping and trade issues, and expert advice on how to increase sales through social media. Stay up-to-date on the event by going to to see photos and videos, and be sure to check out Thursday's edition of Counselor PromoGram for complete coverage of the ASI Power Summit Canada.

To view a gallery of photos from the ASI Power Summit Canada, click here.

Advertising Spending Set To Rise
Improving economies and popular events like the World Cup and Winter Olympics will compel advertisers to drive the largest increase in global ad spending in four years in 2014. That’s according to a report from Magna Global, which predicts worldwide ad revenue will rise 6.4% to $516 billion this year.
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"The global advertising economy returns to robust growth as digital media spend is growing by double-digits and television is benefitting from the various non-recurring events of 2014," said Vincent Letang, director of global forecasting at Magna Global.

In North America, ad revenues will accelerate 6% to $168 billion, Magna predicts. Beyond the World Cup and Winter Olympics, the rise is being bolstered by American midterm elections and sizable outlay from insurance companies, health care institutions and local governments, which are communicating about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

As part of the ad revenue upsurge in North America, digital is expected to do particularly well, increasing by 14.4%. Perhaps unsurprisingly, mobile and social media ad spending will play key roles in powering the digital increase on this continent. Magna forecasts that mobile spend will soar 110%, while social media will jump 53%. Worldwide, spending on digital media will grow by $20 billion to $140 billion, Magna predicts. "The only losers in that picture are other traditional media categories that are losing market share at an accelerated rate," said Letang.

Elsewhere, Western Europe will see ad spending increases of 2.2% this year, Magna predicts, while ad spend in China will shoot up by $5.5 billion. After the U.S. and China, Brazil and Indonesia are the individual markets that will experience the most growth, increasing a combined $4.5 billion, according to the Magna report.

Economy Forecast To Expand In 2015
In the next few months, the U.S. economy is expected to grow at its fastest pace in a decade, thanks to an energy boom, steadily falling unemployment, and a rebound in corporate investments, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
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The Paris-based group said in its latest economic overview that U.S. gross domestic product would expand 2.5% this year and 3.5% next year — the strongest advance since 2004.

"The U.S. is the bright spot in the world's recovery today," OECD head Angel Gurria told Reuters. "The U.S. is the one country that has its own growth built in."

Low energy prices and continued low borrowing costs, plus record corporate cash rates, should produce a surge of 10% business investment next year, according to OECD projections. Steadily falling unemployment will likely equate to rising consumer demand and a firm recovery in housing over the next year, the group predicts. The OECD believes steps taken to rein in federal spending and debt in recent years have been successful, with the drag on the economy from budget cuts diminishing and federal debt as a percentage of GDP stabilizing around 106%.

Despite the stronger growth, the OECD is forecasting a slow decline in unemployment, expecting joblessness to remain at 6% by the end of 2015, above the level typically regarded as full employment. Wage stagnation has continued to stunt demand and worsen income inequality, the group says. The OECD is calling for an increase in the minimum wage and tax law changes to help the situation.

The OECD is an economic policy organization that includes the world's largest developed nations. The organization's predictions are more optimistic on U.S. growth than other forecasters, including the World Bank, which expects growth of 3% next year.

The Joe Show: Fun Summer Promos
In this episode of The Joe Show, Managing Editor Joe Haley shows off several new products that’ll pique the interest of clients and prospects. Looking for an item perfect for outdoor events and corporate picnics? How about some products that would inspire any crowd or sporting event attendees?
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Click here to watch another new episode of The Joe Show.

Want more videos? Subscribe now to our YouTube videos.


Counselor Product Close-Up: Towels
In the latest episode of the video series Counselor Product Close-Up, the focus shines on promotional towels. What markets should distributors target for towel sales? What types of decoration can make towel orders stand out? 

Click here to watch the video and find out. Featuring advice from Counselor Editor Andy Cohen and Stitches Editor Nicole Rollender, plus a products segment with Managing Editor Joe Haley, this edition of Counselor Product Close-Up has ideas to help you pitch and sell more towels in 2014. Click here to watch the video report.

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Road Tour 2014: Visiting The Industry’s Best Workplaces
The only way to get a real feel for what makes companies unique is to go visit them. So, we're jumping on planes and into cars, and setting out on a five-day cross-country trip to find out why some workplaces in this industry are simply the best. Three Counselor editors are about to embark on our fourth annual Counselor Best Places to Work Road Tour. We'll visit 12 companies – both distributors and suppliers, all of which are honored on the 2014 Counselor Best Places to Work list – in the span of five days.

And while in previous years we've left from the ASI home office in Pennsylvania, the 2014 Counselor Summer Road Tour will begin in the airport, with us flying to…

It's a surprise for now where we're headed first, but we'll begin first thing on Monday morning and will of course be chronicling our every move online and through social media. And there will undoubtedly be fun and shenanigans along the way. Yep, on this trip, we're up for anything – and the companies we visit tend to throw the kitchen sink at us. Our video cameras, iPhones, iPads, and notebooks will be ready to record everything as we go, so make sure to follow along at, or on Twitter with the hashtag #counselortour. There will be videos, pics, and blogs updated daily.

Need an incentive to pop in and post comments? At the end of the trip, we'll award a $100 Gift Card, along with Counselor Best Places to Work Road Tour memorabilia, to a winner chosen at random from all the viewers that post a comment to the #counselortour hashtag on Twitter.

Along for the Best Places to Work ride are Melinda Ligos (@ASI_melinda), Andy Cohen (@ASI_andycohen), and C.J. Mittica (@CJ_Wearables). What will they find along the way? Which of the dozen companies they visit will throw out the reddest carpet? And, which will be sure to embarrass us along the way? Join us June 23-27 to find out. Go to to see it all unfold.

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Vote Now For The Industry’s Best Ads
The finalists have been chosen for the Counselor Ad Awards. Now, all we need is your input. Please click here to vote in the Best Ads categories for Counselor, Email Express, ESP, catalogs and Advantages. You can select up to three per category; limit of one ballot per person, please.

The ballot will be available for a limited time only, so vote now!

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Rate the Counselor Power 50
Counselor is now compiling its Power 50 list for 2014 – our recognition of the industry's most powerful individuals – and we're looking for feedback from you.

Click here to see the list of last year's Power 50 and let us know whether you think the members are more or less influential today than they were a year ago. Or, if you know of someone who should be on the list but isn't, please write his or her name and company information in the space provided.

Thank you for your input! Rate Now – click here.


ASI Radio: How To Tap Into New Markets
On today's Tuesday Morning Show, the hosts provided advice to callers who were looking for ways to break into new, expanding sectors. Plus, we revealed our Favorite Things, gave a preview of the Counselor State of the Industry report, and had a live update from the ASI Power Summit in Canada.

If you missed the show, a recording is now available at And, don't forget to join us for our next broadcast – Tuesday, June 24. Log on at 10:30 a.m. ET to listen to the show – and give us a call at (215) 953-4979 to hear your voice on the air. 

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In The News
Proforma (asi/300094) announced that Tony Zayas, interactive media manager, recently appeared as a featured guest speaker on GaggleAMP's weekly social media podcast, "Amp Up Your Social Media." Zayas shared the strategies he has implemented to help Proforma Owners gain more than $1 million in new sales in the past year through social media. Listen to the GaggleAMP podcast here.

SanMar (asi/84863) announced that it is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Port Authority, its flagship apparel brand. Watch the company's commemorative video here.

Lapine (asi/67895) announced that it will partner with ZWILLING J.A. Henckels as its national manufacturer representative and stocking distributor to bring its line of quality kitchen products to the U.S. premium market.

Vitronic Promotional Group (asi/93990) has launched a revamped website featuring easy navigation, increased functionality, and improved tools for distributors. Visit the new website at

Enduraline (asi/52480) announced that it will be closed from Monday, June 30 through Friday, July 4 for its summer shut down. The plant will reopen Monday July 7.

Gossett Marketing Communications (asi/212200) announced that founder Danette Gossett has partnered with CelebrityPress to release her new book Transform: The World's Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Get to the Heart and Soul of Transforming your Life, Business & Health, which she co-wrote with best-selling author and speaker Brian Tracy. For more information, visit


People On The Move
Bag Makers (asi/37940) announced that it has promoted Pete Gleason to director of sales strategy.


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United Way Honors ASI
Lauded for forming an "outstanding partnership" with United Way and for increasing campaign contributions by 20%.
Find out more
Congrats, ASI Grads
Nine more industry pros were certified through the ASI Education Certification Program, with more than 30,000 enrolled in ASI’s free Online Learning Center.
Find out more.


ASI's hosted buyer event, fASIlitate, offers million-dollar sales producers the unique opportunity to spend private time with the industry's most sought-after suppliers. During pre-set private meetings, you'll be able to discuss sales initiatives and projects with the vendors you are most interested in working with. Participating distributors receive luxurious accommodations and travel at no cost.

After hours, spend time networking with the industry's elite during special events and exquisite meals. fASIlitate is taking place September 16-19 at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, AZ after the ASI Power Summit.

Click here if you are interested in attending. Or, contact Rafael Dosman at 800-546-3300, ext. 3564 with any questions. Visit for more information.

Follow The ASI Show on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook today!

The following are the dates and locations for The ASI Show in 2014 and 2015:
Chicago, July 15-17, 2014
Orlando, January 4-6, 2015
Dallas, February 3-5, 2015
Long Beach, March 24-26, 2015
New York, May 6-7, 2015

Plus, don't miss the ASI Advantages Roadshow, the industry's #1 traveling show. Visit for the complete schedule and go to for information on all ASI Shows.

Counselor Product Close-Up: Towels | Road Tour 2014: Visiting The Industry’s Best Workplaces | Vote Now For The Industry’s Best Ads | Rate the Counselor Power 50 | ASI Radio: How To Tap Into New Markets | In The News | People On The Move
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