Passes New Trade Bill
Prior to the holiday weekend
the United States Senate passed
the Central American Free Trade
Agreement (CAFTA), which would
eliminate most trade restrictions
on about $32 billion in annual
trade with the Dominican Republic
and the five Central American
nations of Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
The pact still has to pass
through the House, where opposition
to it is mounting. This will
open up new areas of import
and export for American companies,
although the bill initially
severely limits imports from
these countries until 2007.
Hector Barreto, administrator
of the U.S.
Small Business Administration,
will ultimately be good for small
97% of all U.S. exporters are
small businesses, the passage
of this trade agreement will
serve to open additional markets
for U.S. small businesses and
help to create jobs in this
country,” he said in
far as the promotional products
industry, the impact won’t
be as great as that from current
trade policies with China.
But still, experts say, it
will force all companies to
face new competition. “This
trade pact could have a huge
impact immediately for sugar
producers, but for companies
in the textiles and consumer
goods arena, it will take a
while for CAFTA to have an
effect,” says Keith Huber,
a small business marketing
consultant based in New York. “But
it’s just another step
in the globalization process
that’s forcing small
businesses to be even more
aware of who their competitors
Of The Koozies Raleigh, NC-based Kustom
Koozies, an online business offering
imprinted foam beverage coolers,
was contacted recently by Norwood
Promotional Products, saying the
firm couldn’t use the term “koozie,” because
Norwood owns the trademark. Norwood
threatened litigation, but Kustom
Koozies brought suit first, claiming
the word is now generic. Norwood
contends that the name was coined
by a Texas entrepreneur who invented
the product in 1979. Norwood bought
that firm in 1989, but reportedly
let the trademark registration expire.
Still, it believes it owns exclusive
rights to the word and that if it
truly were generic, it would appear
in the dictionary. “If you
look koozie up in the dictionary,
you won’t find it,” said
Indianapolis (where Norwood’s
based) attorney Nancy Tinsley. The
case is still pending.
Remark Sparks Promo Product
Blitz On June 20, following an interview about a special legislative session
he called to address school funding, Texas Governor Rick Perry, apparently in
an effort to be funny and/or hip, ended an exchange with a TV reporter with the
words, “Adios, mofo” (a shortening of a well-known expletive). The
remark was later run on the air by Houston ABC affiliate KTRK-TV. Considering
Perry’s political stance as a conservative Christian, the phrase naturally
generated some publicity immediate afterward. It’s
doubtful, however, that anyone foresaw just how much Perry’s
brief case of unintentional
foot-in-mouth would grow,
and all because of the power
of the imprinted product.
A number of Web sites (wannamakeout.com,
cafepress.com) are offering
a variety of items featuring
the phrase, some in tandem
with Perry’s name or
image. The products offered
include T- and sweatshirts,
bumper stickers, aprons,
baby bibs, buttons, mugs,
throw pillows, mousepads,
and more. There’s even
a T-shirt for dogs that goes
for $15.99. The sites say
they’ve sold several
thousand dollars’ worth
Spending To Jump
According to a TNS Media Intelligence forecast, advertising spending will reach
$145.3 billion for 2005, an increase of 3.4% over 2004, which in turn saw a major
jump of 9.8% over the previous year. More specifically, TNS predicts a better
first half of 2005 than the second; the first six months will see a 4.1% bump,
the second 2.7%. Steven Fredericks, TNS president/CEO, said a third-quarter slowdown
isn’t unusual, particularly in a year following one in which the Summer
Olympics and a presidential election took place. The biggest predicted growth
area was cable TV at 11.6%, followed by Hispanic media at 10.5%, Internet at
7.6% and magazines at 7.5%. The promotional products industry, of course, saw
a 4.9% jump, higher than the overall advertising increase.
In The News
A Utah woman
has made a deal with GoldenPalace.com, an online gambling casino, to have the
firm’s name permanently tattooed on
her forehead for $15,000. Her reason: she wanted the money for her son’s
private education. While some have criticized both the woman and GoldenPalace,
Richard Rowe, the latter’s CEO, notes, “It’s a perfect way
to get attention amid the clutter of advertising people see every day.”
Idaho Press-Tribune reports
that two teenagers
who, on their way to the
local Jack in the Box, saw
and reported a fire at a
historic Building in Nampa,
ID, resulting in it being
saved in time. As thanks,
they were rewarded with free
haircuts from the day spa
in the building, a video
game system from the building’s
owner, and $500 in food certificates
from Jack in the Box, along
with Jack in the Box watches,
antenna balls, coffee mugs
that due to the increase
sales reps vs limited physician
time, good doctor-rep relationships
are crucial. One good way
to help build them? “Distribute
innovative and useful promotional
items such as clicks, calendars
and stethoscopes to office
Chocolate Inn (asi/44900)
has revamped its Web site
to allow distributors to
On The Move
Datrek Miller Professional
Bags (asi/48603) has
named Max Waits COO.
He was formerly COO of
Mid Ocean Group BV and
CFO of Norwood Promotional
(asi/66887) has named
inside sales manager
Cam NM, HI and AZ. It has also named
Robin Kerr and Linda Copeland key contact
National Premium/Apollo/AMC (asi/73392)
has added Leslie Hulberg and Patricia
Zambrano as account executives.
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