The Industry Responds

Thursday November 10, 2011 | Filed under: Community, Media Coverage, Members, News About ASI

I received immediate feedback to my letter to members concerning President Obama’s call for cuts in federal government spending on ad specialties. I appreciate everyone who responded and applaud your passion – no matter where you stand on this particular issue.

The executive order titled “Promoting Efficient Spending” was posted Wednesday and made me feel less anxious about its overall impact on our industry. Section 7, Extraneous Promotional Items, reads: “Agencies should limit the purchase of promotional items (e.g., plaques, clothing, and commemorative items), in particular where they are not cost-effective.”

Can we live with that? Many of you who wrote think we should, for the overall good of the country. Others think Obama’s stance is anti-business and that his views on economic recovery are misguided.

One point I’d like to stress is that ASI is not partisan in any way. As an organization, we advocate on behalf of this industry – and not for or against any particular politician or political party.

Below is a sampling of some of your comments – with names removed. They represent what many of you are thinking:

  • I am not an Obama supporter, but unless we start spending within our means, our people are going to suffer like never before. This would be a far greater tragedy for our industry in the long run. 
  • Leave it up to Obama to mess things up for Americans.
  • As a conservative, I think our federal government needs to be much, much smaller, and every little bit will help. I’m sorry that some promotional products distributors and suppliers will lose some federal government orders, but if we could get our economy back on the right track, these sales could be more than made up for in the private sector.
  • Times are tough, and we all need to make cuts. Why should our advertising specialties be any different? 
  • We have complete idiots in Washington.
  • No matter what is cut, somebody is going to cry foul. 
  • I’m in the business and I’ll take the hit in order to save this nation from financial ruin.  Our government needs to cut, cut, cut. 
  • Everybody screams, “Cut the federal budget!” until the cuts start to impact their own business.
  • At a time when companies are struggling to stay alive, and we are hearing of more and more corporations filing for bankruptcy, we should be proud to offer promotional items and premiums as a way for corporations to reach their consumers in lieu of expensive media spending. 
  • Instead of cutting us out, have all of Congress pay for their own health care and save on the private gym, etc.
There have also been a number of articles written about this issue, including one that ran on the Politico blog, which quoted me. As it turns out, even Politico was unable to find any agencies that have paperweights, stress balls or coffee mugs.

In addition, I also spoke to a Washington Post reporter on the issue and was happy to continue to hammer home the cost-effectiveness of ad specialties – and how using them often actually saves the government money when compared to other forms of advertising. That’s a point all of us should be making – no matter which color state we live in. To read the Washington Post article, click here.

Stay tuned for more as this issue continues to develop. And keep writing, by posting a comment or e-mailing me here. I’m also on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.