A Recap Of News From Around The Industry Just in case you missed last week’s special editions of “PromoGram From the Show Floor,” here are a few of the major stories that broke during the Chicago ASI Show:
John Sloan, former president of Beanstalk Promotional Products (asi/155460), and Mike Wilson, former Beanstalk vice president of sales, have both joined Mercury
Promotional and Fulfillment (asi/267770), a premium/incentive marketing company in Madison Heights, MI. Sloan will serve as president/CEO, overseeing management and focusing on new business development and Wilson as executive vice president of sales. Ray Wezner, previously Mercury's senior vice president, has been named COO/GM. Beanstalk was recently been purchased from Ford Motor Corp. by a group of its executives, retaining both Sloan and Wilson. “Mike and I just felt it was time to get into something new and different,” Sloan told PromoGram. “It was really a matter of wanting some change.”
The Seattle Post Intelligencer reports that Counselor Top 40 distributor Bensussen-Deutsch & Associates (BDA, asi/137616) has been sued by Intel Corp. for negligence and breach of contract. The suit alleges that a former BDA sales rep scammed over a half-million dollars worth of merchandise from Intel, including big-screen TVs, golf clubs, stereo equipment, etc. The situation began in May 1999, two months after BDA entered into an agreement with Intel to provide promotional products for its Uniquely Intel program.
Lee Communications Inc. (LCI, asi/66846) has acquired supplier PLI (asi/79336) in an asset buyout. Details were not disclosed. PLI will eventually be incorporated into LCI, likely at a new location for both firms, notes David Saatzer, LCI vice president of sales and marketing, adding that PLI’s ASI number will ultimately be dissolved in favor of LCI’s. Virtually all PLI employees have been retained, and former owner Scott Wong will remain for six months in a consultant capacity.
K2’s Acquisitive Ways Noticed By Motley Fool
The Motley Fool, the playful Web site that offers serious advice to small investors, recently profiled K2 , parent company of Counselor Top 40 supplier Hilton Corporate Casual (asi/60930). The Fools were admiring K2 ’s ability to acquire good name-brand companies in niche product categories like fishing and snowboarding. As if to be true to their reputation, K2 has purchased three ski industry companies lately: Volkl Sports Holding, Marker Group and Marmot Mountain Ltd.
Are Shipping Price Hikes In The Offing? Look for things to get dicey with shipping soon. The Kiplinger Letter says the cost of business mailings of catalogs and direct mail will rise 15% next year. Meanwhile, new Homeland Security measures and greater volume will affect shipping by truck, rail, sea and air. Truck rates, up 8-12% already this year, stand to climb another 10% in the next 12 months, Kiplinger says.
Senate Passes Further Restrictions On Tobacco Advertising The Senate has moved to add even more restrictions to tobacco advertising. Since there’s already a ban on promotional products with a tobacco firm’s logo, this might seem like a moot point. But the new legislation would give regulatory power to the Food and Drug Administration. The new restrictions are a trade-off for tobacco-growers, who stand to get $12 billion in relief, since demand for tobacco has fallen. Now we’ll see how the bill fares in the House of Representatives. Tobacco companies have continued to give our products like lighters to promote cigarette sales, but they’ve made sure such items aren’t imprinted. It remains to be seen if a newly empowered FDA will seek to eliminate the point systems and proof-of-purchase programs that cigarette companies use to distribute unimprinted merchandise.
Clarifications We’ve been notified by HALO Branded Solutions (asi/218450) that, in consideration of the firm’s longtime close association with Lee Wayne Corp., which it acquired almost 10 years ago, the company prefers to be officially referred to as HALO/Lee Wayne. The ASI number will remain the same, as will all else.
Two small errors in our State of the Industry Issue: On page 128, the ASI number for Zouire Marketing Group should have been asi/366094. And on page 118, an incorrect location and Web address were provided for Kaeser & Blair (asi/238600). The correct location is Batavia, OH; the correct Web site is www.kaeser-blair.com.
ASI Show Wraps Up Successful Run In Chicago
The ASI Show in Chicago , the industry’s biggest and most exciting summer show, was held last week at McCormick Place . On-site verified attendance exceeded 4,300 non-duplicated distributors, an increase of nearly 10% from last year, surpassing an initial projection of 4,000. Look in the September issue of Counselor for a complete report covering show highlights, newly-debuted products and more. The ASI Show Chicago is the 4th ASI Show in a row with increased attendance — a clear indication that more distributors are choosing the ASI Shows as the industry’s preferred events.
ASI Show Experience Returns To All Four Popular Cities In 2005
Orlando , January 3-5 — The industry’s first show of the year, featuring keynote speaker Stephen Covey and a special Cirque du Soleil show.
Dallas , February 2-4 — The major industry show for the Southwest region.
Las Vegas, March 30-April 1 — The best-attended ASI Show of the year, featuring a special Elton John concert and more.
Chicago , July 12-14 — The industry’s biggest summer show returns to McCormick Place .
Registration will be open in days with show news being updated continually. Visit www.asishow.com or call (800)546-3300.
OF THE WEEK
Camouflage Cotton Twill Cap from Otto International (asi/75350)
The Low Profile Pro Style Cap, s tyle No. 78-353, from Otto International (asi/75350) is made from 65% polyester/35% cotton blend with a firm front panel low-fitting. Features include:
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August 3-5 Booth Trade Show
Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC)
Long Beach, CA
Info: JoAnn Macek, (818)346-1796; Fax: (818)346-1888 firstname.lastname@example.org
August 11-13 Booth Trade Show
Promotional Products Association Mid-South (PPAMS)
Nashville Convention Center, Nashville TN
Info: Mark Farrar (615)890-0190; Fax: (615)867-7080 email@example.com