|Vol 0262, November 26, 2008|
NEWS : PromoGram
PROINNOVATIVE FIRES BACK, DEFENDING ITS PULSAR PENS
Proinnovative Inc. (asi/79840) says it has the right to market its Pulsar Pens, despite a recent statement by Clegg Industries Inc. (asi/45450) that it holds licensee rights under U.S. Design Patent #D484,535 to its Lighted Logo Pen, and that it was planning to enforce those rights. Proinnovative says its Pulsar Pen and Rainbow Pulsar Pen appeared in its catalog more than a year before the patent was filed. That, says Proinnovative, gives them the right to continue to market the pen, despite the patent.
Kevin Clegg, the company’s vice president, responds: “We
understand that Proinnovative has raised a legal challenge to the patent,
and as the licensee we are currently investigating those allegations.
Once we confirm the status of our patent, we will take whatever action
is necessary pending these results.”
The HALO Estate, the entity that is disposing of the assets after the bankruptcy of Counselor Top 40 distributor HALO Branded Solutions (asi/218450), has reached a tentative settlement that will provide at least an additional $22.7 million for creditors’ claims. HALO has settled with four of the five insurance companies that insured former HALO president John Kelley, whose decision to buy dot.com distributor Starbelly is widely credited with leading to HALO’s Chapter 11 filing.
HALO is still pursuing another $10 million or more from the fifth insurance company that provided director’s insurance to Kelly. In addition, HALO is pursuing separate lawsuits against an investment firm that signed off on the Starbelly deal and against Starbelly’s former owners. The prospects of those lawsuits were “promising,” according to HALO CEO Marc Simon.
The $22.7 million would be used to compensate suppliers who are still
owed money from invoices from before the July 2001 bankruptcy filing.
That should amount to an estimated 23 cents on the dollar, depending
on the final count of creditors’ claims. This is in addition
to the existing kitty that has enough funds to pay suppliers 10-20
cents on the dollar. The settlement could also mean an additional $7
million paid to holders of HALO’s common stock, if the judge
overseeing the case approves the settlement. If not, the $7 million
comes into the bankruptcy estate
The 2004 Counselor Awards are only a few months off, and we’d
like your input on who this year’s candidates should be. Is there
someone you’d like to nominate? We’re looking for notable,
deserving industry professionals in the following areas:
International Person of the Year - Presented to an individual who has significantly contributed to increasing international business activity & relationships within the industry.
Client of the Year - An end-buyer firm that supports the industry by successfully incorporating logoed merchandise into its overall media mix, or through an inventive campaign utilizing imprinted products as a key element.
Entrepreneur of the Year – Recognizes an industry practitioner who has exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit by achieving notable growth via new products, creative marketing campaigns, or acquisition.
Women in the Promotional Products Profession - Presented to women
who have made a positive mark in the industry through their business
acumen & leadership abilities.
For the last two weeks, we’ve reported on a lawsuit filed by Norwood Promotional Products Inc. in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, against Clyde Straub, president of Ideas Unlimited USA and chairman of the National Association of Promotional Products Distributors (NAPPD), and four other distributorships. In the suit, Norwood claims the defendants promoted a boycott of its goods because it allegedly sells direct.
Late last week, Norwood CEO Tom Roller released the following statement: “We have received requests to publicly respond to the articles and postings referencing our recently filed federal lawsuit. Upon advice of legal counsel, we believe that it’s in everyone’s best interest to refrain from further discussion of the lawsuit in the public forum. We are confident appropriate disclosures will be made about the case as the suit progresses naturally through the court system.”
Although a final audit is still being completed by a third party company, early figures indicate that attendance projections for last week’s ASI Show in Las Vegas were exceeded by nearly 10%. In all, a total of 5,450 distributors walked the aisles, with nearly 2,500 in attendance on education day and 5,000 verified on the first show day alone. Distributors offered extremely positive comments about their experiences: “I thought the show went really well and was very organized,” says Stan Uber of My Imagination (asi/278682). “We were trying to get ideas on how to present various products to our customers, and the supplier salespeople were very responsive to that.” Cyndi Arnett of Wizard Promotional Products (asi/362632) echoes Uber’s comments: “We’ve found a lot of new things. Many of the vendors gave me ideas on how to sell their products to my clients. We had a really successful day. I received new products and ideas for my customers, as well as marketing ideas for myself.”
The ASI Show returns to Las Vegas next year, March 30–April 1.
HUFFY CORP. TO CUT 100 JOBS
Huffy Corp., parent company of supplier Huffy Sports (asi/62020), announced last week that it’s trimming 20% of its workforce. The company said that about 100 jobs will be cut in the next nine months. The majority will be at Gen X, the sports product company Huffy bought more than a year ago. The downsizing will cost between $4-$6 million, which officials say will then save Huffy $7-$9 million a year.
Counselor Top 40 supplier SanMar Corp. (asi/84863) is planning to open distribution centers in Florida and Texas by late summer. The two new 200,000-square-foot centers will extend the area in which SanMar products can be delivered quickly. Opening the Jacksonville, FL, center will make one-day delivery possible in Florida, much of Georgia (including Atlanta) and southeast Alabama. The other center, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, will bring one-day service to the majority of Texas and Oklahoma, southwest Arkansas and Northern Louisiana. The new centers join similar facilities in Seattle, Reno, NV, Cincinnati and central New Jersey.
EO GOES MILE-HIGH
Educational Outfitters (asi/186046), a distributor specializing in school uniforms, will open a new location in Denver June 1. “This furthers our commitment to becoming the nation’s leader in school uniforms, embroidery, screen-printing services and promotional products to schools and businesses,” says CEO Jamey Elrod.
Fortune magazine has bestowed its “Most Admired Companies” designation
on Counselor Top 40 supplier Mail-Well Inc. The firm is parent company
of Discount Labels (asi/49890) and Lancer Label (asi/66220). Mail-Well
got second place in the Printing & Publishing category, scoring
high in innovation, use of corporate assets and quality of management
NEW ADDRESS FOR DEFINITE RESULTS
For reasons it still cannot determine, distributor Definite Results
(asi/178177) continues to receive mail at its old address. Suppliers,
please recheck your address books to make sure you have the following
Corporate Express Inc., parent firm of Corporate Express Promotional Marketing (asi/168786), has named Brian Rindels VP/credit and collections for Corporate Express North America.
Label Art (asi/66020) has named Ken Young general manager of its Southeast plant.
The Advertising Specialty Institute (asi/33020) has hired Matt Samuels as corporate events manager.
Bodek and Rhodes (asi/40768) recently named Martha Gery call-center manager and added Jay Steelman and Mark Robinson as sales reps.
International Marketing Concepts/IMC (asi/62820) has named three sales reps for the Great Lakes area: Steve Harvey, Maureen Dwyer and Brian Alba
THE INDUSTRY’S LARGEST NATIONAL SUMMER SHOW IS COMING SOON!
The next ASI Show is in Chicago, July 13-15 with a special Keynote Presentation, “Becoming a Category of One,” and the infamous ASI Show Gala Celebration at House of Blues! Visit www.asishow.com for more details and to register for the Chicago ASI Show.
DIVIDE & CONQUER
If you segment your customers - or are considering it - you might try this method: separate them by needs. One company found 20% of customers cared most about help from service and sales, a third zeroed in on product range, and the rest cared about price and delivery. Once they segmented customers based on these needs - and targeted them with appropriate promotional campaigns, mailings and accompanying ad specialties - loyalty and sales grew. Give you any ideas.
According to Census Bureau data, only half of those aged 18-24 are registered to vote. This presidential election year, help political parties urge younger voters to get involved via promotions. An “idea search” in ESP lists 289 political products, from campaign-related chocolates and globes to more traditional pins and fans. If you search for “elephants” to represent Republicans, you get 598 options. The Democrats have fewer choices for their mascots; an ESP search yielded just 146 “donkey”-themed products.
To view these tees 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=518
Japanese manufacturer Toshiba Corp. recently introduced the world’s smallest hard disk drive (HDD), according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The drive measures just 0.85 inches – roughly the width of a quarter - and has a storage capacity of four gigabytes. Toshiba’s comparatively gigantic 1.8-inch HDD is currently the drive of choice for the best-selling iPod digital music player. The new drive will go into production by the end of 2004 and is targeted for use in cell phones, digital camcorders and watches. Look for the miniature drives to start having an impact on all electronic devices in the coming months and years, including many bound for our industry.
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