Counselor

Elections Spur Interest in Made-In-USA Products

With major political races ready to intensify over the next year, made-in-the-USA promotional products are poised to become hot sellers in the months ahead. In addition to the presidential campaign, the end of 2015 and 2016 will see candidates across the nation sparring for congressional seats in Washington, as well as vying for spots in statehouse legislatures.

Keen to paint themselves as patriotic and supportive of American jobs, many candidates are seeking to invest in branded merchandise that is produced in the United States. Presidential candidates are foremost among them.

“We take great pride in that 100% of our products are made in the United States, without exception,” reads a message on Democrat Hillary Clinton’s Web store. “That means with each purchase you are supporting Hillary for America, and also American manufacturing jobs.”

“We take great pride in that 100% of our products are made in the United States, without exception.”

Meanwhile, spokespeople for Republicans Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio told CBS News that all their candidates’ merchandise is made in the USA, and a spokesman for Rand Paul said all of Paul’s promotional products are either made in America or printed here, though some products are manufactured abroad.

“Unfortunately, not all products sold in the U.S. are American made, but we are continually looking for products to offer that are.” – CR

Court Rules Passwords Are Property

Social President

A Texas judge’s recent ruling that social media passwords can be considered business property has set off a new debate about privacy and legal precedent that could affect future bankruptcy cases.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jeff Bohm, who issued the ruling, compared social media accounts to subscriber lists, arguing they “provide valuable access to customers and potential customers.”

The Texas case made headlines because Bohm’s ruling led to business owner Jeremy Alcede spending seven weeks in jail. Alcede, who put his company, Tactical Firearms, into bankruptcy to stop a bank from foreclosing, refused to turn over a Facebook password to the gun shop’s new owner. Bohm ordered Alcede held in jail until he provided the passwords.

“The moral for people is you have to keep your personal life separate from your business life,” Benjamin Stewart, a Dallas-based bankruptcy lawyer, told the Associated Press. Alcede did eventually hand over the passwords, although he maintains he did so to “deal with various personal issues, including health problems,” the AP reported. Alcede believes the social media site passwords are his personal property.

Analysts aren’t sure if the Bohm ruling will extend into other business dealings like acquisitions, but contend that companies are increasingly viewing social media accounts as protected property. Under this standard, employees who leave a firm may not be able to tap into certain business accounts – even if they set them up themselves – to later pull customer contact information.  – DV