|Vol 0254, November 26, 2008|
NEWS : PromoGram
HALO BUYS JII IN FIRST POST-BANKRUPTCY ACQUISITION
In its first move since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, HALO Branded Solutions (asi/218450) announced late last week that it has bought selected assets of JII Promotions Inc. (asi/232427). The deal will be a cash transaction, unlike the stock swaps that characterized many of acquisitions in HALO’s days as a publicly-traded company. HALO president Marc Simon said that the backing of its new owners, HIG Capital, has made this kind of all-cash deal possible.
The move will bring benefits to both suppliers and JII salespeople. HALO’s 30-day terms mean quicker payments than JII, which has been extending payments to suppliers, says Simon, adding that JII’s sales force will also be the beneficiaries of a better compensation plan. Most of JII’s operations will move to Sterling, IL, where HALO has been consolidating its holdings. Simon says he expects all JII’s salespeople will make the move. JII owns some of the oldest calendar lines in the industry, but its printing has been outsourced.
Courts in Munich, Germany, have ruled in favor of Senator Pen, parent of Top 40 supplier Senator USA (asi/86390), in an infringement case against Chinese firm Ningbo Chenglu Stationery & Sports Travel Products. Under the ruling, Ningbo Chenglu is prohibited from bringing several styles of writing instruments into the German market and also from using the “S-Logo” and “Senator” brands. It has also been ordered pay compensation for damages. “The biggest issue aside from the fact that [piracy] obviously is taking income away from [Senator] is that most of these products are nowhere near the quality of our products,” says Andrew Hill of Senator’s international sales and marketing management team. “We decided that we’ve had enough and we had to put a stop to it, and that's exactly what we did. I think the message [here] is that you can put up a stand against piracy and it can go right for you.”
UK-based 4imprint.com (asi/197045) has had a bunch of glad tidings lately, but the good news hasn’t extended to its operations in the United States. 4imprint stock jumped almost 27% in a single day after the distributor announced a restructuring and told investors its pre-tax profits had slightly exceeded market expectations.
But 4imprint is taking a $12.5 million “provision” to write off goodwill from the purchase of the Adventures in Advertising franchising operation. In accounting terms, goodwill is the difference between the purchase price and the lower estimate of what a business is actually worth. 4imprint is currently “considering options” on AIA. Dick Nelson, who recently left 4imprint Inc. (asi/197041) after serving as CEO, has confirmed he is currently in discussion with 4imprint to purchase the AIA division. “Right now, it’s in the discussion stage,” he reports. “I wouldn’t even say it’s in negotiation stage yet. But I’m currently not at liberty to discuss any details.”
Executive VP Kevin Clegg notes, “The pen design is covered by U.S. patent D484,535. It covers all of lighted logo pens that look like this, whether straight, spiral or bubble, and all LED colors. We’ve sent letters to about 15 suppliers letting them know they can no longer sell this pen. Most of our colleagues have committed to stop and have even referred people to us. For those continuing to sell product that infringes on the patent, we’ll take all steps necessary to prevent them from doing so and collecting damages as allowed by law.”
Last week’s Wall Street Journal contained an unusual item about the use of gift cards issued by credit card companies. It seems some people are buying up thousands of dollars in gift cards from Charter One Financial, an Ohio bank that’s trying to corner a big share of the market. Here’s how it works: People use their own credit cards to buy high-dollar-amount MasterCard gift cards from Charter One. In return they get the frequent-flyer miles or whatever incentives the credit cards were offering. They then use the gift cards to buy a money-order at a post office. Then they deposit the money-order in their checking account so they can buy more Charter One gift cards and earn more free miles. This circuitous route is followed until the free trips start piling up. Though some credit cards have found ways to discourage this practice, it’s legal and within the rules for Charter One gift cards.
Although gift cards are a peripheral part of the promotional products industry, this story shows the extent to which people will go to win incentives. The Wall Street Journal also recently ran an article on “mile runs” – meaningless trips frequent flyers will take to bulk up miles and get preferred customer status. (One man flies from Boston to Japan a few times a year – and seldom leaves the Tokyo airport.)
...or allowing cradle-to-grave perceptions to scare us off of our own potential? The following is advice from ASI Counsel regarding a statement to include on your purchase orders to ward off suppliers who use your orders as prospect lists to sell direct. Why now? Read Marv Spike’s EDITORIAL in the February Counselor – on its way to you as we speak.
“By accepting this order, you and your company agree that the name and contact name information concerning the customer of (your company name) is part of (your company name) customer list and is proprietary information of (your company name). The customer name and contact information is provided solely for shipping the goods ordered and cannot be used to solicit or contact the customer. Should you or your company use the information for any other purpose, you or your company agree to give (your company name) the revenue from all sales in (your company name) selling area that are made to the customer that you or your company sell to that company.”
As with any such advice, consult your own legal counsel before moving ahead with implementation.
K2, parent firm of Hilton Corporate Casuals (asi/60930), has completed the merger of Fotoball USA into one of its subsidiaries and changed the Fotoball name to K2 Licensing & Promotions. Scott Dickey has been named president of the new firm.
TRG Accessories (asi/90507) has launched “Power of Brands,” handling Timberland, Calloway Golf and Swiss Army Brand luggage for the industry.
Selco Custom Time Corp. (asi/86230) has named Tiffany Jones marketing
ASI ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE UPS DISCOUNTS AS NEWEST ASI MEMBER BENEFIT!
As of February 2004, ASI members have access to exclusive discounts when they ship with UPS, the world’s largest package delivery company.
A new affiliation between UPS and ASI could save members thousand of dollars each year. In fact, depending on shipping volume, the savings could climb into the tens of thousands. UPS is offering very special pricing to ASI Suppliers and Distributors on overnight, international and ground deliveries. Visit www.asicentral.com for further details.
If you’re in the Southwest region, you’re probably one of the thousands already planning to attend the Dallas ASI Show. If you didn’t register yet, you can still sign up on site from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday (education day) and Thursday (first show day), as well as from 8:00-3:30 on Friday (last show day).
Don’t miss out on a great mix of nearly 700 suppliers; the all-new Counselor 50th Anniversary special event, The Ultimate Texas Bash, featuring a live performance by country music star and three-time Grammy nominee Pat Green; 100 free education and training opportunities; free networking each day; plus two free keynote breakfast presentations, including the Industry Hotseat panel and best-selling author Tony Alessandra. There’s still time to make plans. Any questions? Call Show Headquarters at (800)546-3300 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t wait for someone else’s Counselor to make its way to you? You deserve your own today. Take advantage of our 7-month special offer (including our 50th Anniversary and State of the Industry issues) for just $37.50. Easy. Email email@example.com. Say “Can’t Wait. $37.50 sounds good.”
Show Headquarters is busily accepting registrations for the best-attended ASI Show of the year — the Las Vegas ASI Show, March 14-16, 2004! With two months to go, more distributors are pre-registered for Las Vegas than before our Orlando show, which exceeded attendance projections by 25%!
In addition to all of the excitement on the show floor, the Vegas ASI
Show also features the Celine Dion special Counselor 50th Anniversary
event; keynote speaker Steve Wynn, the man behind such groundbreaking
properties as The Mirage, Treasure Island and Bellagio; 100 additional
free education and training opportunities; and much more. ASI Distributor
members also receive a FREE Hotel Room. To register, visit http://www.asishow.com/register/register.htm.
Call (800)546-3300 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more
details. Free registration deadlines expire February 13, so make your
plans today! More information is available for suppliers and distributors
If you’re trying to sell a client on the importance and value of employee motivation, retention and appreciation programs – in spite of the tendency to put these campaigns first on the budget chopping block – pepper your presentation with these stats: New research found that 84% of employees like their co-workers and 64% said the friendships are what they like best about their job. Propose company-wide functions– complete with fun promotional products that employees can keep on their desks as souvenirs of fun times with work friends.
Also note: If you’re going to suggest that a client have incentive
games or contests for employees, a survey from customerservicegroup.com
found that the most effective contests run about three weeks – short
enough to maintain enthusiasm, but long enough to meet goals.
Sixty-two percent of the projected 85 million viewers who watch the
Super Bowl are civilian employees. Each one is expected this week to
spend at least 10 minutes of their workday, each day, chatting about
the game at the “water cooler.” Outplacement firm Challenger,
Gray & Christmas estimates that employers will consequently lose
$821.4 million in productivity over the six-day period. Use this statistic
to encourage your clients to plan for major events that stimulate such
productivity-draining chatter. Motivational incentives should be in place
during the week prior to the Super Bowl, Final Four, March Madness, World
Cup, etc., to keep employees’ eyes on the ball, so to speak. Tie
the campaign into the event, using a related sports theme to both share
in the event’s excitement as well as focus everyone on making the
company’s own goal.
Colorful and cool. The Graphco Line (asi/57956) presents fun, translucent pens. Details include a shiny metal clip, ribbed finger grips and a round, rubber click end. Choose from blue, orange, red, teal and yellow.
To view these pens and other new and creative products, visit the Product
Central section on ASICentral.com. Or, learn more about this product
now by clicking on the link below: http://www.asicentral.com/asp/protected/apps/newProducts/newproduct_show.asp?ID=456
The NEW ASICentral is waiting for you! It's the electronic meeting place
for promotional products professionals. Scan breaking industry news.
Tour the vast array of ASI products and services. Check out member benefits.
Pull up a roster of industry education and events. Contact customer service.
Read ASI publications online. Participate in this week's Quick Poll on
a hot industry issue. Join online discussions at ASIGroups. Research
this year's State of the Industry issue. It's all happening at ASICentral.
Go to www.asicentral.com. Make it your default page today!
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