Number Of Political Promotional Products, Down; Creativity, Up The combination of McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform and the television-is-all philosophy of the presidential campaigns is causing huge slashes in budgets for things like yard signs, buttons and bumper stickers. The Wall Street Journal reports that campaigns have been running low on free yard signs and buttons and have taken to selling them. In some cases, campaigns are outsourcing selling duties to their merchandise suppliers. Still, at least some promotional products are clever enough to motivate partisans to buy them. National Public Radio reported that Republicans, at their convention last week, were selling flip-flops imprinted with issues
John Kerry purportedly changed his mind about. There were also chew toys for dogs shaped like Bill and Hillary Clinton. Some GOP party-goers apparently went a bit too far in New York , though. Convention-goers were told by higher-ups to stop distributing bandages that carried the message, “It was just a self-inflicted scratch, but you see I got a Purple Heart for it.” Veteran groups, among others, had complained.
Wilson Bros. Announces Difficulties In SEC Filing Wilson Bros. USA, parent company of Houze Glass Corp. (asi/61920) and Numo Manufacturing Inc. (asi/74710), is struggling under a debt load that is threatening to affect operations of its subsidiaries. Wilson said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it needs to renegotiate loans with its banks (or secure new financing) or it may not be able to continue operations. The so-called “going concern” filing was made Aug. 16. John Sanford, president of Wilson, told the Charleston, SC, Post and Courier that Wilson was on the road to recovery. The company has moved near Numo’s Kaufman , TX , plant and is working to cut expenses and put more focus on profit. Wilson ran into trouble partly because Wal-Mart ordered $3 million worth of product two years ago but then returned almost half of it. Calls to Houze and Numo for comment on Wilson ’s difficulties have not been returned.
Discount Labels' Conway
Promoted At Cenveo Allen Conway, known for years in the industry as CEO of Discount Labels (asi/49890), is working his way up through the ranks of Cenveo, the parent company of Discount and Lancer Label (asi/66220). Conway was named president of the resale custom division of Cenveo, which is known as Quality Park.
Hurricane-Related Problems? Let The Industry Know! In the wake of Hurricanes Charley and Francis, many distributors and suppliers have experienced interruptions in their businesses. ASI has made it possible for any industry firms affected by these storms to post updated information at www.asicentral.com so colleagues and customers can check their status. Just click on "Update Information" under the Hurricane Updates section on the opening page and fill out the corresponding form. Look for additional follow-up in Thursday's edition of PromoGram.
New Site Opens For Lawyers Who Like Logos Corporate Signatures, a marketing firm, has developed a new Web Site dedicated to helping law firms tout themselves. What’s particularly interesting is that the site, www.LawPromotion.com, is almost completely dedicated to imprinted products, ranging from travel mugs to wearables, attorneys can use for self-promotion. The significance of this shouldn’t be missed: Even though the once-sacred legal profession has used TV, print, outdoor and radio ads for roughly the last decade, its embrace of promotional products signals new opportunities for distributors.
Geer Launches Direct Import Venture Walt Geer, co-founder and former
president/CEO of eCompanyStore, has launched
Phenix Direct LLC, a direct-import supplier
firm that will “target the industry’s
top-tier distributors that are seeking
greater levels of creativity, reliability,
and service from their import partner.” The
firm will be headquartered in Atlanta and
have initial satellite offices in Los Angeles
and Kowloon, Hong Kong. Phenix Direct
has also recruited personnel from promotional
products distributors. “Coming from
the distributor side of the business, I
saw real opportunities to help larger distributors
by having the right import supplier partner,” Geer
says. “We’ve pulled together
a great team and value proposition for
distributors.” Joining Phenix in
Los Angeles is J. Nile Hight, a senior
account executive with 12 years of experience
with CYRK, Best Promotions, Inc.,
Regan Group and, most recently, Global
Essentials Co. Geer also recruited his
eCompanyStore co-founder Jay Flowers, who
has a minority investment in the firm and
will also take a sales role. Phenix will
soon be joining both ASI and PPAI, Geer
PPAI Establishes Woodlief Chair The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) has announced the establishment of the Russ Woodlief Memorial Chair, dedicated in honor of industry notable Russ Woodlief, who passed away August 24. Donations in his name may be sent to: PPEF, ATTN: Russ Woodlief Memorial Chair, c/o Seandae Caffey, 3125 Skyway Circle North, Irving, TX 75038
People On the Move Flexsystems USA Inc. (asi/54597) has relocated to 727 W. Main St., El Cajon, CA 92020 (619)401-1858.
Class Act Engraving (asi/45295) has launched a Spanish-language version of its Niagara Crystal Web site.
American Solutions for Business (asi/120075) has entered a tentative agreement with Novation, a healthcare GPO, to become an endorsed supplier of its network of over 45,000 facilities nationwide.
Superb Case (asi/90230) has relocated to 1119 Douglas Ave., Providence, RI 02904. Phone/fax remain the same.
OF THE WEEK
Boxed Gift Sets from Private Label CD (asi/88226)
New for 2004 from Sound Promotions(asi/88226). Holiday Music CDs are the perfect holiday gift. When you package four of them in a classy high-quality box sleeve, you have a gift that is ideally suited for the VIPs on your list. Each CD is individually personalized with a full-color logo in two locations and a personalized message. Use our pre-selected Holiday Collection or create your own from 23 great albums. Price break based on total number of CDs with a 50-set minimum and quick, 10-working day turnaround.
for other new and creative
visit the Product
Central section on ASICentral.com.
Traveling Optimum Promotional Show
Plus (TOPS Plus)
Promotional Products Association
International Centre, Toronto
Info: (514)489-5359; Fax: (514)489-7760 email@example.com
Harvest of Ideas Trade Show
Michigan Promotional Products Association
Burton Manor Conference Center,
Info: (734)699-6767; Fax: (734)699-7363 firstname.lastname@example.org