PRESS RELEASES

ASI Reports Ad Specialty Sales Hit Record-Breaking $21.5 Billion

Sales of promotional products up 5.1% over 2013; Distributors post  20 straight quarters of growth

 
TREVOSE, PA – February 4, 2015 – The Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) today released its annual sales analysis for the promotional products industry, showing total distributor sales topped $21.5 billion for 2014, increasing revenues by 5.1% over 2013 and setting a new record for the second straight year.

Further, ASI research shows distributor sales grew 5.9% in the fourth quarter of 2014, year over year, with sales of promotional products now increasing for 20 straight quarters. Fueled by sales of branded items like T-shirts, caps and pens that companies typically give away to promote their business, brand or event, the promotional products industry is growing at over twice the rate of the U.S. economy.

In addition, the Counselor® Confidence Index – a tool that measures distributor health and optimism – improved slightly to 114 in the fourth quarter, tying an all-time high.

Leading research firm eMarketer estimates spending on paid media in the U.S. totaled nearly $180 billion in 2014. Media spend by category suggests total distributor sales of $21.5 billion puts promotional products fourth among all advertising media, behind TV ($68.5 billion), digital ($50.7 billion) and print ($31.7 billion), and ahead of radio ($15.2 billion).

“Everyone in our industry should be proud that demand for low-cost, high ROI ad specialties is once again at a record high,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI, the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America. “And, by all indications, the promotional products industry is heading for another solid year in sales in 2015, continuing a years-long positive trend that’s seen entrepreneurs and small business owners making more money selling ad specialties than ever before.”

Overall for 2014, U.S. gross domestic product, the value of the production of goods and services, adjusted for price changes, rose 2.4%, the highest in four years, according to the Commerce Department. In addition, in 2014 consumer confidence hit its highest mark since the recession.

“Everyone in our industry should be proud that demand for low-cost, high ROI ad specialties is once again at a record high,” said ASI CEO Timothy M. Andrews.

“I believe the economy is better, there is consumer confidence and clients feel it,” Memo Kahan, president of Top 40 firm PromoShop (asi/300446), told Counselor Promogram. “When we feel good, we tend to spend more. Couple all this with gas prices going down, a stronger dollar and steady GDP growth and things are good.”

According to ASI reports, nearly two-thirds of distributors reported a sales increase in 2014 over 2013, with larger revenue distributors with more than $1 million in annual revenues posting higher percentage sales increases than smaller revenue distributors. ASI’s most recent Global Advertising Specialties Impressions Study on ROI shows promotional products consistently rank among the most influential, enduring and cost-effective ad mediums available.

As part of its ongoing effort to gather, analyze and publish key industry metrics, every year ASI’s Counselor magazine publishes the “State of the Industry” report in July. To take the survey, click here if you are a distributor and click here if you are a supplier.

To learn more about ASI research and sales analysis, contact Nathaniel Kucsma, ASI’s director of marketing research, at nkucsma@asicentral.com.

In December 2014, ASI commissioned an exclusive survey to estimate industry sales for the fourth quarter of 2014 as well as the end of year summary for 2014. Invitations went to ASI distributor members who had been in business at least one year.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America. ASI leads the industry in technology solutions, providing cloud-based e-commerce, enterprise resource planning software (ERP) and customer relationship management software (CRM). ESP Web® is the industry’s leading tool for sourcing hundreds of thousands of products. A family-owned business since 1962, ASI also provides online research, marketing, advertising opportunities, trade shows, education, award-winning magazines, newsletters, custom websites and catalogs to help members sell, market and promote their brands. Visit ASI at www.asicentral.com and on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the CEO’s blog.

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