S&S Activewear Acquires Eva Tees Counselor Top 40 supplier S&S Activewear (asi/84358) has acquired Eva Tees (asi/52835), the companies have announced. Read Article
As part of the transaction, Eva Tees has been renamed Eva Sportswear (asi/52834), effective immediately, and will carry 40 new brands that are also offered by S&S Activewear. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
S&S said it purchased Eva, which is based in Piscataway, NJ, to have an East Coast presence that complements the company's purchase of Americana Sportswear (asi/35722) in 2010. Americana is based in Santa Fe Springs, CA, while S&S is located in Bolingbrook, IL. According to S&S, all three companies will carry a similar product mix and assortment of brands, but will still operate as separate companies.
Eva Sportswear has relocated to a larger warehouse in Robbinsville, NJ, and began shipping from the facility on Monday, December 9. In addition, Eva launched a new website at www.evasportswear.com and will release an updated 2014 catalog in January. Eva Sportswear will exhibit with S&S and Americana at PPAI's show in Las Vegas, the companies said this week.
CPSC Could Intensify Regulations On Product Safety
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is considering expanding its powers by making corrective action plans tied to voluntary product recalls legally binding – a change that, if enacted, could potentially increase regulatory burdens on manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. Read Article
Under existing regulations, CPSC and companies address product hazard issues by developing a recall agreement with a corrective action plan – "CAPs." Currently, CAPs are not legally binding, but a new CPSC proposal would change that, allowing the agency to sue to enforce them.
In addition, CAP obligations could increase to include compliance requirements incorporated from a civil penalty settlement. Washington, D.C.-based law firm Wiley Rein says these obligations could include such things as maintaining and enforcing a system of internal controls and procedures for reporting to the CPSC, as well as effective programs to ensure compliance with CPSC requirements. What’s more, companies could be compelled to enact written standards and policies and compliance training for employees, and to make information, materials and personnel available to the CPSC to ensure CAPs compliance. If CAPs are made legally binding, the CPSC would be able to go to court to enforce these compliance measures.
"The stakes involved in a CAP would increase significantly – potentially imposing onerous obligations on companies far beyond current practice before the agency," said John A. Hodges, a partner at Wiley Rein. "This could affect the willingness of companies to enter into CAPs and would warrant further vigilance in negotiations with the CPSC."
In November, CPSC Vice Chairman Robert Adler said that making CAPs legally binding would empower the agency to enforce all agreements and prevent companies from "slow-walking implementation." He said he could think of one recent example in which a company did not fulfil its CAPs obligation. The public has until February 4 to send comments to the CPSC regarding the proposed CAPs enforcement changes.
The Joe Show: New Products, New Ideas
In this episode of The Joe Show, Managing Editor Joe Haley shows off some new items that are perfect for a variety of upcoming promotions. Read Article
Looking for a unique product that would appeal to youth sports groups? How about an item that's sure to gain continual impressions with travelers? Watch The Joe Show for new product and promotional ideas.
Click here to watch this new-products episode of The Joe Show.
Counselor Commentary: A Misguided Tax Increase
Governments often do things that make you scratch your head. Well, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, floated a proposal recently that has many in the advertising industry scratching their collective heads. Read Article
As we reported in Counselor PromoGram on Tuesday (click here to see the article), Baucus is encouraging legislation that would limit the advertising tax deduction. The drafted proposal – which is not formally before Congress yet – would only allow companies to deduct 50% of the money they spend on advertising dollars in year one, with the remaining 50% amortized over the next five years. Currently, companies can deduct 100% of advertising expenses in the year they're incurred, but now both chambers of Congress have floated proposals to limit that deduction. "America today is using a bloated tax code that was built for businesses close to 30 years ago," said Baucus. "The code is completely outdated and acting as a brake on economic growth."
No, what really acts as a brake on economic growth is the addition of taxes that would surely limit spending. That's exactly what this proposal would do in the advertising – and yes, promotional products – industry. If companies weren't able to immediately write off advertising expenses (as they've been accustomed to doing for many years), it seems quite logical that they'd be less motivated to actually spend money on advertising. If more ad expenses means more taxes, well then, we'd expect that there would simply be less advertising expenses all around.
You'd think politicians – who spend millions on promotional items and advertising for their re-election campaigns – would be the first to recognize the importance and effectiveness of advertising. But, in this case, they're clearly not thinking straight. They're trying to find any way possible to increase federal revenues and are missing the implications that those increases can cause on many companies and industries. Of course, this proposal is still a long way from becoming law. In fact, it hasn't even been scheduled yet for debate in either the Senate or House.
So, there is still time to have your voice heard on the issue. If you want to write, call, or e-mail a U.S. Senator click here. And, if you want to contact a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on the issue, click here.
Pantone Reveals Color Of 2014
Color systems firm Pantone has announced radiant orchid as its color of the year for 2014 – a decision based on cultural, fashion and tech trends. "An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, radiant orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. "It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm."
Designers and brands like Emerson by Jackie Fraser-Swan, Juicy Couture and Yoana Baraschi have already been showcasing this color in their spring 2014 fashion lines. As the ad specialty industry closely mimics trends in retail, it's likely some suppliers will incorporate radiant orchid into their offerings going forward.
"While the 2013 color of the year, emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, radiant orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination," said Eiseman. "An invitation to innovation, radiant orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today's society."
Pantone's annual color announcement is also a marketing forecast and ad tool. Pantone – known for its color matching system – works with manufacturers to create color formulas for products. Pantone, for example, partners with beauty company Sephora to design colorful shades of makeup.
According to Pantone, radiant orchid is complementary to olive and deep hunter greens, as well as turquoise, teal and light yellows. Besides beauty items, radiant orchid is likely to show up in interior design offerings, including furniture and paint, analysts say.
Economy Check: Retail Sales Surge
Strengthened by Black Friday, retail sales rose 0.7% in November, the largest jump in five months, according to the Commerce Department. Core sales, which don't include automobiles, food services and gasoline, increased 0.5% last month after a 0.7% rise in October. Retail sales for October were also revised upward to 0.6%.
A closer look at the numbers shows sales at auto and parts dealers improved 1.8%, while receipts at electronics and appliance stores were up 1.1% in November. Furniture stores increased sales by 1.1% and garden equipment centers saw revenue gains of 1.8%. Those increases offset a 1.1% drop in gasoline sales and a 0.2% decline in apparel revenues.
Data also shows more Americans are spending money online and less money at traditional brick and mortar stores. Internet and catalog sales rose 2.2% last month, the highest increase in nearly 18 months. Meanwhile, sales were weak at some retail chains, especially grocery stores. Department of Commerce figures show gains at department stores and sporting goods stores were tepid at best last month.
Still, economists believe Q4 consumer spending will move higher, advancing from third-quarter numbers that demonstrated the weakest gains in four years. Analysts are generally forecasting consumer spending will rise by 3% year-over-year in Q4, with a 2013 GDP jump of at least 2%.
Counselor Q&A: Using Google Analytics
When Google launched its analytics tools in 2005, the service was so popular new users had to win a lottery just to sign up. Since then, as its capacity has expanded, Google Analytics has become the most widely-used tracker of its kind, offering marketers an array of stats about website traffic and conversions.
"Google Analytics is the way we monitor the pulse of our business on the Web," says Jason Robbins, CEO of ePromos Promotional Products (asi/188515). "It tells us what content is being consumed by the public and what content is just sitting there with no one looking." For Web-driven firms like ePromos, Google Analytics provides clear advantages. Yet, any business with an online presence can still benefit from the service's free tools. Click here to read a full Counselor Q&A about the topic and get tips from Robbins on leveraging analytics.
Harvard Students Vote To Ban Plastic Bottles
Through a non-binding referendum, students at Harvard University have voted to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles on campus. Nearly two-thirds of students (64%) who cast a ballot voted to ban single-use bottles, effectively lobbying administrators to install water-filling stations throughout university grounds. School administrators still have the final say in determining policy, although student leaders believe the vote will compel university action.
Several other schools, including the University of Vermont, have recently installed water stations in an effort to cut waste and help the environment. Last summer, Western Washington University became the largest public school to ban single-use bottles. More than 70 colleges and universities have enacted bans or have plans to cut out the bottles.
In an op-ed in Harvard's student newspaper, The Crimson, staff wrote: "Single-use plastic water bottles represent one of the most easily obviated threats currently plaguing the environment. The production of bottled water releases millions of tons of harmful chemicals – such as C02 – into the environment. After the water's consumption, those very same bottles often end up in overflowing landfills. Ending the sale of bottled water on campus would constitute a step toward addressing this problem."
Harvard administrative officials have not publicly commented on the student vote.
CounselorUnveils Best Places To Work
At the inaugural Counselor Best Places to Work Conference, held recently in Santa Barbara, CA, Counselor magazine announced its 2013 ranking of the best workplaces in the industry. With a list of 85 distributors and suppliers, the Counselor Best Places to Work this year is headed up by supplier firm Crystal Impressions by Seaena (asi/47782). "It's truly a great honor to be number-one on the list," said Allison Robbins, one of the company's owners, upon finding out about the ranking. "We're a fun company that we all love spending time at."
Rounding out the top five on the 2013 Best Places to Work list are: Proforma Albrecht & Co. (asi/116308), Beehive Specialty (asi/135780), Royal Crest Promotions (asi/83740), and Clean Fun Promotional Marketing (asi/162979). Click here view the complete ranking of the 2013 Counselor Best Places to Work list.
Vote In The Wearables Apparel Design Awards
Each year, Wearables names the best apparel and accessories in the industry – and we can't do it without your help. Your votes will determine the winners of our annual Wearables Apparel Design Awards. Choose the products you think are the best, considering design appeal, wearability and overall look.
Click here to vote. Voting will take place throughout December. And be sure to check out the February issue of Wearables to find out the winners.
In The News
Benchworks (asi/137190) announced that the company has been named Agency of Record for The CECON Group. For more information, visit www.benchworks.com, or call 410-810-8862.
Branders.com (asi/145021) launched a new program called the "Give a Way" campaign as part of #GivingTuesday which will provide logoed merchandise to national and regional nonprofit organizations over the next six months. For more information, visit http://community.givingtuesday.org.
Charles River Apparel (asi/44620) has announced a three-year $250,000 partnership with the nonprofit Community Rowing Inc. of Brighton, MA, to benefit several components of CRI's youth programs including Girls Row Boston, Boys Row Boston and Let's Row Boston.
Newton Manufacturing (asi/283300) announced that it received top honors in the Curb Appeal category at the presentation of business awards annual event sponsored by the Greater Area Newton Chamber of Commerce.
The Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) announced the following winners of the association's annual awards: SanMar (asi/84863) – Supplier of the Year; Axis Promotions (asi/128263) – Distributor of the Year; Bodek & Rhodes (asi/40788) – Supplier Technology Award; Motivators Inc. (asi/277780) – Distributor Technology Award.
People On The Move
Cooler Graphics (asi/80345) has announced that Bennett Sales Group will provide sales representation. Billy Bennett is the sales contact for FL, and Dee and Andy Bennett are the contacts for TX, OK and LA.
Fineline Printing (asi/194092) has appointed Kim Ramirez as senior account manager to help support the expansion of the company's promotional products and apparel division.
Leprechaun Promotions (asi/67075) announced that Sean Kindrick will move into the newly created role of director of business development. Additionally, Mel Cox has been promoted to director of operations.
Vitronic Promotional Group (asi/93990) has hired Marty Buddenbohn Jr. as the Mid-Atlantic regional sales manager.
Weepuline (asi/40560) has named Michael Crooks its vice president of U.S. operations.
Introducing a new and better way to get your business going and growing.
Proforma's revolutionary Results First program will get you the results you want before making any financial commitments to join Proforma.
Only Proforma has the resources to offer a program like Results First. Only Proforma has $4 million per year in sales and marketing support, $430 million in purchasing power and a 150 person support team to truly deliver the results you want.
Click here to learn how Proforma'sResults First program can grow your business—even before you join.
IT’S AN EXPERIENCE LIKE NO OTHER
Interested in participating in fASIlitate, ASI's invitation-only, hosted buyer event? Let us know by filling out this form. fASIlitate offers distributors the unique opportunity to spend private time with the industry's most sought after suppliers. During pre-set meeting, you can 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.
Four fASIlitate events are planned for 2014:
March 24-25 • Hyatt Regency Long Beach • Long Beach, CA (prior to ASI Long Beach)
April 1-2 • New York Marriott Marquis • New York, NY (prior to ASI New York)
May 4-7 • Lago Mar Resort and Club • Ft. Lauderdale, FL
September 16-19 • Arizona Biltmore Hotel • Phoenix, AZ (after the ASI Power Summit)
Created to bring together distributor million-dollar salespeople with ASI 5-Star suppliers in a productive environment, fASIlitate is truly a one-of-a-kind, business-building experience. Click here if you are interested in attending. Or, contact Rafael Dosman at 800-546-3300, ext. 3564 with any questions. Visit www.fasilitate.com for more information.
The following are the dates and locations for The ASI Show in 2014:
Orlando, January 5-7, 2014
Dallas, February 4-6, 2014
Long Beach, March 25-27, 2014
New York, April 3-4, 2014
Chicago, July 15-17, 2014
Plus, don't miss the ASI Advantages Roadshow, the industry's #1 traveling show. Visit www.advantagesroadshow.com for the complete schedule.
Counselor® PromoGram® is
a trademark of the Advertising Specialty Institute. You were sent this
newsletter as a benefit of your ASI membership. Copyright 2013, ASI.
All Rights Reserved.
If youd like us to send Counselor PromoGram FREE to anyone else at your company (or to your off-site sales reps), go to www.asicentral.com/newsletters and complete the online form.