News
October 19, 2017
Gemini Industries (PPAI 112011) today announced its acquisition of supplier F&H Ribbon Co. (PPAI 111931). Terms of the sale were not disclosed.Founded in Dallas in 1962, F&H Ribbon designs and manufactures highly customized award ribbons, neck ribbons, rosettes, sashes, banners, celluloid buttons, certificates and folders, and also carries a full line of medals, award pins and tiaras. Gemini’s acquisition of F&H Ribbon will expand the Roxana, Illinois-based supplier’s product offerin...
October 19, 2017
First announced Wednesday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, HanesBrands (PPAI 191138) has acquired Norcross, Georgia-based supplier Alternative Apparel (PPAI 217134). The purchase of privately held Alternative Apparel was an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $60 million.“This is an exciting acquisition that supports our activewear growth strategy,” says Gerald W. Evans Jr., CEO of Winston-Salem, North Carolina-headquartered Hanes. “We will be able to leverage our global low-cost ...
October 19, 2017
Small and medium-sized businesses that do business globally have a generally positive outlook on the international markets as a growth opportunity. In its 2017 Grow Global Survey, American Express found that 92 percent of these small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are upbeat about the opportunities in foreign markets. The annual survey of SME exporters found that they generate 36 percent of their annual revenue, on average, from sales outside the U.S. Furthermore, 73 percent of SME exporters anti...
October 19, 2017
HanesBrands (PPAI 191138) has announced preliminary third-quarter 2017 financial results, stating that it expects to report third-quarter net sales of approximately $1.8 billion and earnings per share (EPS) of approximately 55 cents, and adjusted EPS of approximately 60 cents. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-headquartered supplier also expects year-to-date net cash from operations of approximately $330 million.“We met our goal of returning to organic growth, and we continued to generate strong...
October 19, 2017
Volunteer leaders from the PPAI board and committees and the industry’s regional associations have been in Grapevine, Texas, this week for the 18th annual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW), hosted by PPAI and the Regional Association Council (RAC).“What a great week,” says Rena Ashfield, national sales manager, Advance Corporation and RAC delegate from the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals. “I am always so impressed with RAC and LDW—the sessions are always at the highest...
October 19, 2017
Kendra Kirks McDougal, brand merchandise consultant at HALO Branded Solutions, and Mark Shinn, MAS, president of Incentives West, were honored as RAC Volunteers of the Year on Tuesday evening, during PPAI’s Leadership Development Week at the DFW Hilton in Grapevine, Texas. The annual award recognizes regional association members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of volunteer leadership and made significant and measurable contributions to regional associations. Since the award was first ...
October 19, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes Kate Plummer, vice president of supplier member Clearmount Plastics, LTD headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, as the October PPB Volunteer of the Month. The Association’s PPB Volunteers of the Month have dedicated their time to furthering the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, advisory group, work group or task force on which they serve.Plummer serves on PPAI’s Women’s Leadership Conference Work Group. She was nominated by Stacy Riddler, PPAI Manager of ...
October 17, 2017
The 17th annual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW) is under way this week in Grapevine, Texas. Hosted by PPAI and the Regional Association Council (RAC), the four-day event began Monday with a PPAI Board of Directors meeting and continues today with a full-day training and planning session for PPAI committee and advisory group chairs. LDW continues Wednesday and Thursday with an extensive curriculum designed to provide regional association leadership with numerous learning opportunities throu...
October 17, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index slipped in September, following a larger decline in August. The index’s September reading stands at 132.74, down slightly from 132.78 in August. Despite the dip, the index is up 3.8 percent from where it was one year ago.“Several components that led to the decline in the Employment Trends Index in August and September were impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “The Employm...
October 17, 2017
Distributor Complete Office (PPAI 696722), headquartered in Seattle, Washington, has been acquired by Office Depot. The deal closed earlier this month.Complete Office was founded in Seattle in 2003 and now has offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; San Diego, California; Spokane, Washington; and Boise, Idaho. It is expected to continue to operate as a distinct brand separate from Office Depot and maintain its facilities.Office Depot’s acquisition of Complete Office comes as the office products retaile...
October 17, 2017
Worldwide spending on paid media is expected to reach $584.14 billion in 2017, reports digital marketing researchers eMarketer, and by 2021, annual advertising spending should stand at $757.44 billion, driven for the most part by advertisers’ investments in mobile formats. Over the course of its forecast, eMarketer expects ad spending growth rates of between 4.9 percent and 8.3 percent.eMarketer also anticipates North America to stay as the top advertising market through 2021, with growth of 5.2...
October 12, 2017
U.S. net advertising revenue is expected to grow 3.6 percent this year to reach $185 billion, reports marketing research firm MAGNA. While a slower growth rate than 2016’s exceptionally strong performance of 5.9 percent, 2017’s net revenue level is an all-time high.Breaking down 2017 quarter by quarter, MAGNA reports that ad sales grew by 4.2 percent in the second quarter, accelerating from a modest first quarter (3.2 percent), and it expects third and fourth quarters to grow by approximately 3....
October 12, 2017
The Regional Association Council (RAC) has elected its 2018 executive officers and new board members. RAC’s 2017 leadership lineup includes President Lindsey Whitney, MAS; Vice President Bill Petrie; Secretary Harold Wood; Treasurer Rena Ashfeld; and Immediate Past President Janet McMaster, MAS. The new officers will begin their one-year terms following The PPAI Expo 2018 in Las Vegas.RAC also welcomes four newly elected board members for 2018: Tom Clouser, representing District 1; Amy Rabideau,...
October 12, 2017
(From left) Dana Floyd Porter, CAS, SAGE, 2018 Vice Chair- Fundraising; Wayne Greenberg, MAS, JB of Florida/Geiger, 2018 Chair; Pat Dugan, MAS, Budgetcard, 2017 Immediate Past Chair; Bob McLean, PPAI; Stephanie Preston, HALO Branded Solutions, 2017 Vice Chair-Marketing & Recognition and 2018 Vice Chair- Scholarship; Brian Porter, Pro Towels, Kanata & Superior Decorating, 2017 Vice Chair- Scholarship and 2018 Chair Elect; Lori Bauer, BIC Graphic, 2017 Chair; Drew Davis, MAS, Specialty Inc...
October 12, 2017
Supplier Royal Industries (PPAI 113838) has announced plans to relocate from Brooklyn, New York, to Allentown, Pennsylvania. The move is expected to create 80 jobs over the next three years.Royal Industries is making the move to meet its need for more space after recent acquisitions. It currently operates in a 55,000-square-foot facility in Brooklyn. It is acquiring an 85,000-square-foot space in Allentown, and expects to spend $3.73 million on its purchase, renovation and outfitting. “I feel li...
October 12, 2017
Coach, Inc., parent company of several luxury accessory and lifestyle brands, including Coach, Stuart Weitzman and Kate Spade, has announced that it will be changing its name to Tapestry, Inc., effective October 31. It will continue to offer Coach-branded products. The company left the promotional products industry in 2009 but remains a popular choice for incentive programs.“Three years ago, we laid out our vision to transform Coach and announced our intention to grow beyond the Coach brand. Thr...
October 12, 2017
While investigations carry on in Las Vegas following the October 1 shooting, the city has continued its healing with moments of silence and fundraising for the victims, and by going on with the show.The city has resumed its meeting schedule, hosting 126 trade shows and conferences over the past two weeks. Among the largest events was IMEX America 2017, a hosted-buyer trade show for meetings and events industry professionals at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. It brought 12,000 attendees t...
October 12, 2017
This fall, PPAI’s webinar series takes a look at establishing successful company stores, product safety basics and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars in the coming months include:The Four Cores To A Rockin' Company StoreOctober 25, 1 pm CTCAS Required: Product Safety BasicsNovember 1, 1 pm CTUndue InfluenceNovember 8, 1 pm CTTriple Threat: Business, Health A...
October 12, 2017
The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) held its annual Promotions That ROAR! end-buyer show at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, on September 27. The show attracted nearly 300 distributor attendees and more than 800 of their clients to the stadium to visit 112 booths featuring 80 exhibitor companies and 130 exhibitor staff.  The show opened with MiPPA presenting the Great Lakes Supplier Rep of the Year Award to Matt McCluggage of The Magnet Group and the President’s Awar...
October 12, 2017
Employees of Beacon Promotions, Inc. (PPAI 113702) in New Ulm, Minnesota, held several fundraising events for Brown County United Way that raised a total of $5,700. The week-long event began with a presentation from a United Way representative who spoke about some of the many programs supported by the United Way, including the Imagination Library program, the school Backpack program, the Tax Preparation program and the mentoring program ProKinship for Kids. Employees who participated in the fund...
October 10, 2017
PPAI has appointed Jim Hagan, CEO of City of Industry, California-based supplier Sweda Company, LLC, to the director-at-large position for the PPAI Board of Directors. Hagan will begin his two-year term immediately following The PPAI Expo 2018 in January.“Jim’s years of broad experience will add a valuable perspective to our board of directors,” says Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, PPAI Board chair. “We are grateful for his willingness to serve as a director and look forward to benefitting from his vast ...
October 10, 2017
MBE Worldwide, a global third-party logistics, printing and communications services network under the Mail Boxes Etc. brand, has acquired design, printing, marketing and communications franchisor AlphaGraphics. MBE Worldwide’s network will now include approximately 2,600 AlphaGraphics locations in 39 countries, including nearly 500 in the U.S. The move follows MBE’s acquisition of the U.S.-based PostNet franchise system in April.AlphaGraphics will continue to operate as an independent company an...
October 10, 2017
Signaling potential consolidation in the global cargo carrier industry, COSCO Shipping, in collaboration with Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG), has offered $6.3 billion for Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL). The deal remains subject to regulatory approval. Executives from COSCO and OOCL are in Washington, D.C., this week to brief the Federal Maritime Commission on the status of the ongoing merger. Once the merger is approved, the combined company will have a fleet of more than 400 sh...
October 10, 2017
Location data is a top factor in measuring cross-channel marketing, according to a recent study of integrated marketing practices by multi-channel marketers in North America. PlaceIQ, a marketing data and technology provider, found that 81 percent of respondents rank location data as the most or second most important element for marketing; one third rank location-based audiences as the most compelling factor for integrated marketing.PlaceIQ’s research examines the state of integrated marketing—a...
October 10, 2017
In the week since the shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival near the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, authorities have uncovered numerous details and continue their intensive investigation. At the same time, victims have been remembered, families have come together and the city has started to try to heal. The messages on dozens of digital billboards along the city’s highways and roads have been replaced with solemn black and white ads that read simply, “We’ve been there for you during the g...
October 10, 2017
On September 12, the Kids In Need Foundation held its annual gala fundraiser at the U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The organization’s annual fundraiser marked its 22nd anniversary of changing lives through school supplies. Attendees included 385 corporate executives, donors and friends from across the U.S. In addition, 40 teachers from the Twin Cities attended this year’s event as guests.Since 2008, PPAI has supported Kids In Need by giving staff and volunteers access to samples an...
October 05, 2017
PPAI announces the election of Lori Kates, president of IMAGEN Brands, and Todd Pottebaum, MAS+, president of Quality Resource Group, Inc., to the PPAI Board of Directors. They will begin their four-year terms immediately following The PPAI Expo 2018 in January.“Lori and Todd’s leadership and contributions have been felt in the industry for many years now, and I am thrilled they will be joining the PPAI board,” says Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, PPAI board chair. “As we look forward, I am confident tha...
October 05, 2017
The U.S. Treasury Department is withdrawing proposed regulations that would have made it more difficult and expensive for interests in a family-owned business to be gifted to the younger generation. The Small Business Legislative Council (SLBC), of which PPAI is a member and PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, serves as a board director, has actively opposed the regulations since their introduction. In comments to the Treasury submitted in August, the SLBC said, in part, “Family-owned b...
October 05, 2017
commonsku (PPAI 552077), a Toronto, Ontario-based provider of promotional products business and sales software, held its inaugural Business-by-Design boot camp this week in Palm Springs, California.The three-day event, held October 1-3 at the Ace Hotel, gave more than 100 industry professionals opportunities to network and a series of workshops to help build and expand their businesses.“This has been a dream of ours for a long time: attract the brightest, most entrepreneurial-driven minds at one...
October 05, 2017
The British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) has launched a campaign for the country’s 2017 Promotional Products Week (PPW), running October 2-6 and spotlighting promotional products’ ability to make people feel valued. A recent study conducted by BPMA found that almost 80 percent of people receiving a promotional product feel “appreciated.” In its campaign for PPW, BPMA is asking its members, promotional buyers and anybody who wants to support PPW to reflect this trend by saying “Than...
October 05, 2017
PPAI has promoted Ellen Tucker to director of business development. Tucker joined the Association as its business development manager in 2014, bringing a strong background in management and advertising, and experience working with associations, to the role. In her new position, Tucker will continue to oversee several initiatives within the Association, including sponsorship and advertising opportunities surrounding The PPAI Expo and PPAI’s publications. She will also work to develop new options ...
October 05, 2017
Seven industry professionals earned their Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) certification and one earned his Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) certification in September. They join an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment t...
October 03, 2017
The shooting that killed at least 59 people and wounded more than 500 at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas on Sunday night has drawn the nation’s attention and an outpouring of support for the victims, their families, the city of Las Vegas and the Mandalay Bay Hotel, where the shooter was located. According to news reports, the gunman fired on the crowd of about 22,000 people from the 32nd floor of the hotel as they listened to country music singer Jason Aldean in the final hour of a three-day con...
October 03, 2017
Distributor Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, LLC (PPAI 109381) announced today that it has acquired the UK’s leading provider of specialist sports merchandise, Sports Merchandise Global (SMG). It’s the third acquisition for BDA this year; the company acquired UK-based Dukes of London last month, and in July it acquired Boston, Massachusetts-based distributor SwervePoint (PPAI 336283). “Combining forces with the leadership of Jonathan Bailey and the great team of people at SMG in the Mancheste...
October 03, 2017
Geiger (PPAI 105182) has announced that distributor Premiums Plus Incorporated (PPAI 107727), owned by PPAI Hall of Fame Inductee Margie Price, MAS, has signed an affiliation and service agreement with the Lewiston, Maine-based distributor. Geiger will be providing support for Price’s customers while she takes a sabbatical. Price says she will return to the industry at some point in the future as part of the Geiger team. “I have known and admired Margie for many years,” says Jo-an Lantz, Geiger’...
October 03, 2017
Michael C. Fina Recognition, a rewards, recognition and incentives provider acquired by distributor HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) in February, has officially unveiled its new HALO Recognition brand.HALO Recognition’s New York office, administrative center, management team and daily operations will remain the same. The company’s former website will redirect to the new one at www.halorecognition.com. “Our goal is to provide our valued recognition and branded merchandise clients with a singl...
October 03, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio-based distributor Cintas Corporation (PPAI 303547) has reported revenue results for its fiscal 2018 first quarter, which ended August 31, at $1.61 billion, an increase of 27.2 percent over last year’s first quarter. The organic growth rate, which adjusts for the impacts of acquisitions and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, was 8.3 percent—the organic growth rates for the reportable operating segments of Uniform Rental and Facility Services, and First Aid and Safety Se...
October 03, 2017
With banners, balloons and plenty of enthusiasm, supplier BIC Graphic welcomed editorial staff from several industry publications to Media Day at its headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, on September 28. Terry Ramsay, PPAI associate editor, attended the event which included presentations from the sales, marketing and manufacturing departments, and factory tours.Among the presenters was Emmanuel Bruno, president of BIC Graphic, who welcomed the group and led a discussion about the company’s recen...
October 03, 2017
Proforma’s (PPAI 196835) Owner Advisory Council (OAC) recently held its annual planning meeting at the Polyconcept North America (PCNA) headquarters in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. The OAC, comprised of member owners elected each year to represent their geographical regions meets annually with executive team members to set the goals and initiatives to drive the continued growth of the organization. “Proforma’s annual planning meeting sets our course for the year ahead,” says Greg Muzzillo, foun...
October 03, 2017
On September 28, Santa Barbara City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, California, dedicated the Jack and Julie Nadel School of Business and Entrepreneurship. Julie Nadel, SBCC President Anthony Beebe and SBCC Foundation CEO Geoff Green were on hand for the ribbon cutting. Nadel’s husband, Jack Nadel, industry pioneer and founder of distributor Jack Nadel International, passed away in 2016. In February, she and the Nadel Foundation made a $1 million gift to the SBCC School of Business and Entrepre...
October 03, 2017
Top Brands, Inc. (PPAI 113144), an Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based supplier in operation since 1961, announced that it has successfully met the Women's Business Enterprise National Council's (WBENC) standards as a Women’s Business Enterprise.“Top Brands has a longstanding history as a woman-owned business since Norma Jean Knollenberg purchased the company in 1993,” says Top Brands Owner and CEO Pam Slavonic. “Many of our customers are always looking to maximize their supplier diversity efforts and I am...
October 03, 2017
Last week, PPAI took the Get In Touch! industry branding initiative and Johnny Earle, aka Johnny Cupcakes, founder of the ubiquitous t-shirt brand, to New York City for Advertising Week. PPAI is a long-time participant in Advertising Week, which draws marketing, advertising and branding professionals and students from around the country for four days of educational programming, learning, special events and networking.Earle, who also gave the opening general session presentation at The PPAI Expo ...
October 03, 2017
This fall, PPAI’s webinar series takes an up-close look at PPAI’s new Promo Connect professional development platform, company stores and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars in the coming months include:Promo Connect: Putting Content Into ContextOctober 11, 1 pm CTThe Four Cores To A Rockin' Company StoreOctober 25, 1 pm CTCAS Required: Product Safety BasicsN...
September 28, 2017
Registration and housing for The PPAI Expo 2018 are now open, and this year distributor members have new, exciting options to expand and customize their show experience. The PPAI Expo, the largest and longest-running gathering of promotional products professionals, runs January 14 through January 18, 2018, at The Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.PPAI distributor attendees can personalize their time in Las Vegas by choosing one of two exclusive registration packages new this year at Ex...
September 28, 2017
Consumer sentiment ticked down slightly in September, according to The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index. Though the index improved marginally in August, it now stands at 119.8, down from 120.4 the month before. Breaking the Conference Board’s findings down a bit, the Present Situation Index increased from 148.4 to 146.1, while the Expectations Index rose slightly from 101.7 last month to 102.2. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is co...
September 28, 2017
Ennis, Inc. has reported financial results for the quarter and six-month period ending August 31. The Midlothian, Texas-headquartered supplier’s revenues for the quarter were $94.9 million, compared to $91.2 million for the same quarter last year, an increase of 4.1 percent. Its revenues for the six-month period were $189.5 million compared to $181.7 million for the same period last year, an increase of 4.3 percent.Keith Walters, chairman, chief executive officer and president, says, “We continu...
September 28, 2017
The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) has submitted comments in response to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) request for information regarding the overtime exemptions to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The SBLC’s comments included its thoughts on the DOL’s 2016 final overtime rules that were enjoined by final court order and provided feedback to the DOL on what it should do with the overtime rules going forward. The SBLC described the negative impact that the 2016 overtime rule’s ma...
September 28, 2017
HanesBrands (PPAI 191138) is donating more than one million items of underwear and activewear to assist hurricane victims in Florida and Puerto Rico, and is using its operations in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to supply essentials to its employees in Puerto Rico. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-headquartered supplier is reaching out to its 240 employees to determine their circumstances. Approximately 100 employees have reported to the company’s seamless fabric plant in Humacao, Puert...
September 28, 2017
Terry Ramsay has joined PPAI as associate editor on the Association’s publications team. She brings a strong background in communications and project management in a variety of industries to the role. PPB Newslink sat down with Ramsay to learn more about the newest member of the Association’s team.PPB Newslink: What was your professional background before joining the association?Terry Ramsay: I worked as a freelance writer and marketing consultant in a variety of different industries, including ...
September 28, 2017
Over the next few months, PPAI’s webinar series explores the young professional experience, PPAI’s new Promo Connect platform, and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars in the coming months include:SPARK 2017: The M Word In Real LifeSeptember 29, 1 pm CTPromo Connect: Putting Content Into ContextOctober 11, 1 pm CTThe Four Cores To A Rockin' Company StoreOctobe...
September 28, 2017
The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) recognized industry professionals’ accomplishments at its annual Pinnacle Award Ceremony and Member Appreciation Event. Held on September 12 in Richmond, Virginia, at the 2017 VAPPA Fall Showcase, the annual event, this year sponsored by Pacesetter Awards, is an opportunity to acknowledge regional industry leaders. Approximately 70 people attended to congratulate nominees and award recipients selected by member ballot. This year’s winners inc...
September 26, 2017
Marketing and ad agencies are facing a talent gap as college graduates are turning away from marketing and advertising to other, seemingly more appealing fields to build their careers. The findings come from a study, “Bridging the Talent Disconnect: Charting the Pathways to Future Growth,” by the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) Educational Foundation (AEF). The study warns of “a looming marketing and advertising talent crisis,” driven in large part by a lack of common vision, vocabula...
September 26, 2017
As part of Merchandise World, an industry show hosted by the British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) and Sourcing City at the NAEC Stoneleigh in Warwickshire, UK, on September 19-20, the BPMA recognized industry members’ accomplishments and milestones at its annual awards dinner. The dinner drew more than 350 attendees to the Chesford Grange Hotel."I'm delighted to see such member engagement at this annual prestigious event,” says BPMA Director General Gordon Glenister. “I've seen the...
September 26, 2017
As industry companies and their communities make strides to recover from heavy weather in Texas, the southeastern U.S. and Puerto Rico, members also continue to focus on meeting individual needs for ongoing assistance. Supplier Fruit of the Loom (PPAI 133342) is donating 500,000 pieces of clothing to people affected by Hurricane Irma in Florida and the surrounding region.  The Bowling Green, Kentucky, company is sending three semi-trailers full of essential clothing items like underwear, t-shirt...
September 26, 2017
Geiger (PPAI 105182), as part the distributor’s green commitment, has begun generating 100 percent of its electric power from a newly installed solar array installed on its Lewiston, Maine, campus.  The largest business solar array in Maine, the firm’s electricity needs are generated by 696 Q CELL panels producing 233.2 Kilowatts in direct current. Annual production is estimated to be 303,100 kilowatts, which translates to a reduction of 319,731 pounds of CO2.“When we started planning our office...
September 26, 2017
Voting is under way for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2022 and will run through Friday. PPB Newslink is taking a closer look at each of the four candidates, and today spotlights Steve Levschuk, president of London, Ontario, distributor Talbot Marketing (PPAI 100789).Levschuk has worked in the promotional products industry for more than 21 years and has served on the PPPC Board of Directors, as a PPAI International Committee member and as a member of the Promotional Products Education Foun...
September 26, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett hit the road last week, joining the New England Promotional Products Association (NEPPA) and the Promotional Products Association of the Midwest (PPAM) to speak at their fall showcases, and connecting with college freshmen at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he was a guest lecturer for an introductory marketing class.Barnett’s presentation showed students how the promotional products industry works in...
September 21, 2017
Tickets are still available to hear marketer Johnny Earle, aka Johnny Cupcakes, founder of the ubiquitous t-shirt brand, at Advertising Week, September 25-27, in New York City. The session, sponsored by PPAI, takes place at 9:45 am on Wednesday, September 27 at B.B. King NYC.  Earle will discuss how attention to detail, experience, loyalty and putting people “in touch” with the brand through promotional products build successful campaigns that help companies connect with clients, the com...
September 21, 2017
The second full day of the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit, held earlier this week in Newport Beach, California, carried the momentum of the event with another full slate of in-depth presentations and panel discussions on strategies for managing product quality, understanding how products are inspected at ports, and addressing risk at every stage of the product life cycle.  “By any measure, this year’s Summit was superb,” says Gene Geiger, MAS, co-chair of the PRAG Work Group and CEO of dist...
September 21, 2017
The Regional Association Council (RAC) has named Julie Schoenbauer, executive director for the Rocky Mountain Region Promotional Products Association (RMRPPA), as the recipient of the 2017 Donna Hall Memorial Grant. The award presentation will take place during the opening reception and dinner at the 2017 RAC Leadership Development Workshop in Grapevine, Texas, on October 17. The Donna Hall Memorial Grant was created by RAC to provide regional association executive directors the opportunity t...
September 21, 2017
Voting is under way for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2022, and will run through September 29. PPB Newslink is taking a closer look at each of the four candidates, and today spotlights Lori Kates, president of Mason, Ohio-based supplier IMAGEN Brands, parent company of Crown Products and Vitronic.  Kates has worked in the promotional products industry for more than 21 years, and has served on the PPAI Professional Development Committee, PPAI Compensation Committee and the Promotional ...
September 21, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit took its attendees out of the session hall on Wednesday and out on the open water. About 110 of Summit’s 175 attendees signed up for the optional addendum to the schedule, a guided boat tour of the Port of Long Beach. Prior to the excursion on Wednesday, Ken Uriu, business development manager, import cargo, at the Port of Long Beach, closed the Summit schedule on Tuesday with an overview of the port’s operations. Uriu’s presentation paint...
September 21, 2017
What do successful companies have in common? Satisfied employees, loyal customers, good growth and high revenues, according to the Incentive Research Foundation. The IRF recently completed research and published a white paper that describes the characteristics and prime differentiators of top-performing companies. In the IRF Incentive Benchmarking Survey, top performers were required to excel in three categories: customer focus, revenue generation and employee focus. Of the more than 900 compan...
September 19, 2017
In its seventh year, the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit brought the promotional products industry to Newport Beach, California, started Sunday to focus on the pressing business implications, challenges and opportunities associated with compliance. More than 175 professionals responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of the promotional products they sell have gathered at Newport Beach’s Duke Hotel this week to share, discuss and better understand how to manufacture, source, ship and ...
September 19, 2017
Distributor Boost Promotional Branding (PPAI 107225), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, has acquired Nashville, Tennessee’s Sanders Marketing Group (PPAI 171114), a division of Sanders Manufacturing.“The Sanders team has been one of the most respected resources for branded merchandise in the Nashville region and we welcome them to the Boost family,” says Jeff Hall, principal and chief strategist at Boost. “In addition to having a tremendous following in the business community, their associate...
September 19, 2017
Anne Marie Buerkle, chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, gave PPAI and industry members a “gold star” for their work spearheading product safety issues on Monday when she spoke via video conference to attendees at the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit.Buerkle opened  by telling attendees, “It’s the entrepreneurial spirit of organizations like PPAI that make this country great, and it is the hard work and sacrifice of people like yourselves that keep the American dream alive and well...
September 19, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett was on the road last week, speaking at the Tri-State Promotional Professional Association’s (TSPPA) Fall Showcase in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Virginia Promotional Product Association’s (VAPPA) Fall Showcase in Richmond, Virginia.At  both events, Barnett addressed the changing consumer market, the need for social media integration and the increasing presence of younger people in the promotional products industry. He says, “I am conti...
September 19, 2017
Advertising Week, which takes place next week in New York City, sits at the center of a Venn diagram of marketing, branding, advertising and technology. The event draws professionals from around the country for four days of educational programming, learning, special events and networking. PPAI, a long-time participant in Advertising Week,  is presenting “Get In Touch! Connecting People With The Brand” featuring Johnny Earle, the founder of t-shirt brand Johnny Cupcakes.During the session at 9:45...
September 19, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series explores the adoption and implementation of a code of conduct, company stores and more in its upcoming installments. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars in the coming months include:Code of Conduct Adoption And Implementation: Challenges and OpportunitiesSeptember 27, 1 pm CTSPARK 2017: The M Word In Real LifeSeptember 29, 1 pm CTPromo Connect...
September 19, 2017
Distributor BAMKO, LLC, (PPAI 242148), a division of Superior Uniform Group, Inc., has been named one of the Best Places to Work in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal. BAMKO is headquartered in the city.“Culture is everything at BAMKO,” says Philip Koosed, BAMKO’s president. “The word ‘growth’ is never far from our lips. We relentlessly pursue personal and professional growth, hiring individuals who view challenge as opportunity and smile in the face of adversity. Every member of ou...
September 19, 2017
ANA Business Marketing, the business-to-business arm of the Association of National Advertisers, recognized distributor HALO Branded Solutions with awards in eBusiness Strategy and New Customer Acquisition. The B2 Awards were awarded to top-performing business-to-business marketers in large and small organizations. HALO was selected among several hundred submissions from hundreds of companies across the country. In the award applications, its "hybrid" approach to sales was highlighted—a combinat...
September 14, 2017
Voting is under way for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2022, and will run through September 29. PPB Newslink is taking a closer look at each of the four candidates, and is beginning the series today with Dan Frailey, president of supplier RuMe, Inc. in Centennial, Colorado.A member of the promotional products industry for nearly five years, Frailey has served on several industry advisory committees and panels. Outside the industry, Frailey has served as chair of the board for Heartland All...
September 14, 2017
Kendra McDougal, a brand merchandise consultant at HALO Branded Solutions operating out of Colonial Beach, Virginia, and Mark Shinn, MAS, president of Incentives West, a multi-line rep firm based in Newcastle, Washington, have been named recipients of the 2017 PPAI Regional Association Council (RAC) Volunteer of the Year award. The award is presented annually to regional association members who have demonstrated an outstanding level of volunteerism and leadership and who have made significant an...
September 14, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index increased in August, building on growth registered in July. The index grew in August to 134.62, up from 133.60 the month before, and is up 5.6 percent from where it stood one year ago.“The rapid growth in the Employment Trends Index continued in August, suggesting solid job growth in the months ahead,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “While Friday’s job numbers were slightly disappointing, the ETI does not ...
September 14, 2017
Sycamore Partners has completed its acquisition of Staples, Inc. First announced in June, the private equity firm acquired the Framingham, Massachusetts, company for approximately $6.9 billion. Staples, Inc. participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945)."We are pleased to have completed this transaction and look forward to partnering with CEO Shira Goodman and the Staples management team as we seek to increase long-term profitability,...
September 14, 2017
Voting is under way for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2022, and will run through September 29. PPB Newslink is taking a closer look at each of the four candidates, and today spotlights Todd Pottebaum, MAS+, president of Quality Resource Group (PPAI 159353), in Plymouth, Minnesota. Pottebaum has spent 17 years working in the promotional products industry, and in that time, has served as committee member and chair of the PPAI Marketing Information and Research Committee, and as a speaker at...
September 14, 2017
Upcoming installments of PPAI’s webinar series revisit highlights of PPAI’s first SPARK conference, held this summer in Denver, Colorado, and the implementation of a code of conduct, among other subjects. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.SPARK 2017: Making Your Mark! September 14, 1 pm CTCode of Conduct Adoption and Implementation: Challenges and OpportunitiesSeptember 27, 1 pm C...
September 12, 2017
Communities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are taking stock of the impact of Hurricane Irma, and beginning the rebuilding and recovery process. With impassable roads, wind and flood damage and more than five million utility customers without power in Florida, many industry companies in the region remain closed, although most expect service to resume—at least partially—as the week progresses.PPAI has heard from numerous industry companies on their status following Hurricane Irma. Many too...
September 12, 2017
In its latest Advertising Expenditure Forecast, Zenith Media expects global advertising expenditures to grow 4 percent in 2017 to $558 billion. Advertising in social media feeds, online video and other digital formats are driving much of this expansion, as they lead total display advertising—a category that also includes traditional banners—to 14 percent annual growth between 2016 and 2019. Total display expenditure is expected to rise from $84 billion to $126 billion over this period, accountin...
September 12, 2017
Although it will be a while before life returns to normal for much of Southeast Texas, the region continues to make progress in its recovery from Hurricane Harvey. Most promotional products businesses in the area report that they have reopened, although the industry stands ready to assist companies still in need.Houston-based Hirsch Gift’s offices suffered minimal damage during the storm and it has resumed normal business hours. In the aftermath of Harvey, it has coordinated receipt of donation ...
September 12, 2017
Teresa Allen, an account executive at Nashville, Tennessee-based distributor TSC Marketing, passed away September 5 after a battle with cancer. She was 57.A longtime industry professional, Allen was also an active member of the Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS). She served on the regional association’s board of directors in 2011 and in 2012 as director of public service. PPAMS Past President Dennis Durban says, “I first met Teresa Allen in the early '90s. She came to work...
September 12, 2017
Phil Carollo, president of Chicago, Illinois, supplier Lion Circle Corp. (PPAI 112372), passed away September 8. He was 77.After serving in the U.S. Army, Carollo entered the promotional products industry in 1963 with Lion Match Corporation of America. Working his way through a variety of positions, including shipping clerk, salesman, sales manager, COO and vice president, he offered to purchase the company in 1975 when the owner retired. The Lion Circle team issued the following statement: “Phi...
September 07, 2017
Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm and the strongest on record for the North Atlantic, is churning through the Caribbean on a path set to take it into South Florida and up along the Eastern Seaboard over the next several days. In the past 24 hours, Irma passed north of Puerto Rico, but its winds knocked power out for more than a million people.  Jerry Delgado, MAS, a Vernon Company sales associate in Caguas, Puerto Rico, says, “We’ve had no electricity since Wednesday, and we haven’t been told w...
September 07, 2017
SAGE wrapped up its annual promotional products trade show last week in Irving, Texas. With 215 exhibitors, 21 states represented and 24 education sessions held, the SAGE Show 2017 attracted a record-breaking number of attendees, including buyers who attended with their distributors.The event kicked off with a full day devoted to relationship building, education and networking. SAGE and PPAI joined forces to provide professional education sessions dedicated to exploring cutting-edge technology, ...
September 07, 2017
Business is returning to normal as Southeast Texas dries out from Hurricane Harvey. While companies have for the most part reopened their doors and resumed operations, the promotional products industry continues to assist those affected by the storm. Houston-based Hirsch Gift’s offices suffered minimal damage during the storm and it has resumed normal business hours. It continues to coordinate receipt of donation shipments and handling deliveries to area shelters and relief efforts. “We apprecia...
September 07, 2017
Irene Kogutt, who along with her husband Sam owned Dart Manufacturing Company in Dallas, Texas, passed away on September 4. She was 88. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, Kogutt and her husband founded the supplier together and owned it for 42 years. During her time in the promotional products industry, she was an active industry volunteer. She served on the PPAI Board of Directors from 1994 to 1998, and won the PPAI Distinguished Service Award in 1999. Kogutt was also a...
September 07, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes PPAI Leadership Advisory Committee members Mary Dobsch, president of supplier The Chest; Lori Bauer, vice president, national accounts, at supplier BIC Graphic USA; Rod Brown, CAS, CFO at distributor MadeToOrder; and Jessica Hiner, vice president of key accounts at supplier The Magnet Group, as the September PPB Volunteers of the Month. The Association’s PPB Volunteers of the Month have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, adv...
September 07, 2017
Three industry professionals earned their Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) industry certifications in July and August. They join an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to their profession. Professionals who have earned the...
September 07, 2017
Upcoming installments of PPAI’s webinar series examine the importance of social responsibility and revisit highlights from the inaugural SPARK conference, among other subjects. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars in September include:Social Responsibility: Why Should We Care?September 13, 1 pm CTSPARK 2017: Making Your Mark! September 14, 1 pm CTCode of Conduct Ado...
September 05, 2017
In the wake of devastating flooding fueled by Hurricane Harvey, PPAI and SAGE are granting payment extensions to affected members along the Gulf Coast. Membership and services will continue without interruption during this time, so members don’t need to worry about paying now or risk losing the critical business and research tools they will need to rebuild their businesses. In addition to the payment relief, SAGE is offering complimentary email campaign services to any affected member customers ...
September 05, 2017
Distributor Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, LLC (PPAI 109381) announced today that it has completed the acquisition of UK-based Dukes of London, out of administration. The news was first announced in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert this morning. All Dukes of London employees will join Woodinville, Washington-based BDA’s existing UK team and be integrated into its technology systems. “It is an exciting time at BDA as we continue to execute our strategy to grow our global platform,” says Ja...
September 05, 2017
While Harvey’s winds and rain have passed, relief efforts continue in Southeast Texas, and promotional products industry businesses and professionals are supporting the effort by donating their time, money and products to those affected.Houston-based supplier Hirsch Gift continues to coordinate receipt of shipments and handling deliveries to area shelters and relief efforts. Shelters are currently turning away clothing donations, with the exception of undergarments. Based on feedback Hirsch Gift...
September 05, 2017
A proposal in California to prohibit licensed cannabis businesses from using advertising or promotional items to market their products has died in the state legislature. The state Assembly’s Appropriations Committee put the bill on hold without explanation, effectively ending its advancement through the legislative process.The bill, authored by California state Sen. Ben Allen, would have prohibited “medical cannabis and non-medical marijuana licensees from advertising or using branded merchandis...
September 05, 2017
Above: From left are Dana Floyd, Bille Walchek, David Natinsky and Eric Natinsky, all with SAGE; Kevin Fralicks, UNT senior director of development at UNT;  Sara Besley, foundation manager at PPEF, Dr. Wes Randall, department of marketing chair at UNT, Bob McLean, executive vice president at PPAI and Jenni Clark, director of development at UNT.   In the past year, seven industry companies have stepped up to support the Promotional Products Education Foundation’s new university scholarship/inte...
September 05, 2017
The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) has announced its 2017-2018 board of directors, with John Hornbogen, director of business development at RPG Card Services, named board president.The IMA has also elected three new members to its board, David Boodey, CPIM, RepLink/The DataDirect Group; Betsi Bowman, Blackhawk Network; and Marc Matthews, CPIM, Pulse Experiential Travel. Returning board members are Heather Abbott, Powerhouse Brands Consulting; Jim Atten, Shell Gift Card; Fintan Connolly, G...
September 05, 2017
John Pagano, owner of Glen Head, New York, multi-line rep firm JAC Marketing, passed away on August 25. Pagano began his career after college with Latama, Inc., rising to vice president and partner before leaving to form JAC Marketing. A popular multi-line rep in the Northeast, he was also an active member and volunteer with the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY). He served on the regional association’s board, including a term as president, and was inducted into the S...
September 05, 2017
A federal judge in East Texas struck down a Department of Labor overtime rule on August 31 that would have expanded overtime pay. In November 2016, U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant granted a preliminary injunction delaying the implementation of the rule, which had been slated to go into effect on December 1. The Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) new overtime requirements would have raised the maximum salary employees could earn from $455 per week to $913, while still qualifying for mandatory ove...
August 31, 2017
As Houston and Southeast Texas recover from Hurricane Harvey, the now tropical storm has moved north, bringing torrential rain to the eastern edge of the state and into Louisiana. The promotional products industry’s efforts to support those affected by Harvey continue to grow, with more and more companies mobilizing to collect and deliver basic supplies to flood victims.  Houston-based supplier Hirsch Gift is coordinating receipt of shipments and handling deliveries to some of the temporary shel...
August 31, 2017
The SAGE Show, held this week at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas, opened its trade show floor today, giving distributor attendees and their clients access to more than 230 exhibiting brands. It follows a full day of education on Wednesday produced by SAGE and PPAI.Wednesday’s education day was structured around a series of breakout sessions, giving attendees the opportunity to tailor their education experience to best suit their needs. Presented by PPAI and SAGE staff, and experts ...
August 31, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based supplier Pro Towels (PPAI 112755) is relocating the Western U.S. location of its contract decorating division, Superior Decorating (PPAI 113588), from Camarillo, California, to a new facility in Las Vegas, Nevada.Pro Towels relocated Superior Decorating’s Western U.S. operations in response to new growth at the company and the need to expand production. The Las Vegas facility includes new equipment, additional capacity and increased warehouse space. The new locatio...
August 31, 2017
Promotional products professionals work hard to meet deadlines and satisfy customers, dodge problems and overcome challenges. If you’re lucky, you’ve found a service superhero who goes above and beyond what’s expected—and makes you look like a star.Help PPB identify those who deliver top customer service—in your company or a vendor company—even if the person is not working in a typical “customer service” role. Salespeople, owners, managers—they, too, can demonstrate exemplary customer service.If...
August 31, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in September shares insights from the Association’s board of directors, and explores the importance of social responsibility, among other topics important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars in September include:PPAI Executive Board Of Directors Town Hall 2017September 6, 1 pm CTSocial Responsibility: Why Should We C...
August 29, 2017
Houston and Southeast Texas continue to wrestle with Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. Massive flooding in Houston has brought much of the city to a standstill and caused many businesses to close or limit their operations. Companies in the promotional products industry have been affected as well, and the Houston Area Promotional Products Association (HPPA) has postponed its Hot Stuff Expo, which was originally scheduled to start today. With floodwaters turning much of the Houston area into a p...
August 29, 2017
Geiger (PPAI 104182) has acquired selected assets of PromoManagers, Inc. (PPAI 485728), a web-based distributor located in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  PromoManagers will operate under the umbrella of Lewiston, Maine-based Geiger under the name PromoManagers, LLC, a Division of Geiger. Heather Simard, the company’s former owner, will remain as a key contact.Mike Truchon, vice president sales and customer experience with Crestline, a division of Geiger, will oversee the day-to-day operations of Prom...
August 29, 2017
Staples, Inc. has announced financial results for its second quarter, which ended July 29. The Framingham, Massachusetts-based company, which participates in the promotional products industry as Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945), reports total sales for the quarter at $3.9 billion, a three-percent decrease from the same period last year.On a GAAP basis, the company reported net income from continuing operations of $63 million for the quarter. Its non-GAAP net income from continuing oper...
August 29, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in the coming weeks examines independent contractor classification best practices, the importance of social responsibility and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars include:Declaration Of Independent Contractors: Pillars And PitfallsAugust 30, 1 pm CTPPAI Executive Board of Directors Town Hall 2017September 6, 1 pm CTSocial Responsibility:...
August 29, 2017
The Gold Coast Promotional Products Association (GCPPA) held its annual S4 Success Summit and Summer Showcase on August 15-17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The regional association’s Success Summit was a day-long event held before the Summer Showcase at which select suppliers hold round-robin sessions with specifically invited distributors. The sessions are designed to provide more interaction than be achieved in a typical table-top or booth trade show. “The Success Summit offers a great opportun...
August 28, 2017
PPB will update this list of members located in the Texas Gulf Coast as new information is received. Add your company update by emailing the information to PPB@ppai.org. This list was last updated at 12:17 pm on 8/31/2017.Suppliers Breebb, Inc. (PPAI 620304)—Closed Monday – no further updates receivedHirsch Gift, Inc. (PPAI 221823)—The facility did not incur any flood damage and will be operational on Tuesday with limited staff.Kati Sportcap (PPAI 113758)—Closed until possibly WednesdayKTI Netw...
August 28, 2017
Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas Gulf Coast late Friday night, bringing heavy rain to the entire region. Massive flooding in the Houston area has closed many businesses and caused the Houston Area Promotional Products Association (HPPA) to postpone its Hot Stuff Expo. The show was scheduled for Tuesday with 220 exhibitors and more than 700 distributors in attendance at the NRG Center in Houston.   In a statement issued Saturday morning, the HPPA board said, “With Hurricane Harvey rece...
August 24, 2017
As Hurricane Harvey heads for the Texas coastline, PPAI members in the area are preparing for damaging winds, heavy rain and the potential for massive flooding. The storm is expected to make landfall late Friday on a stretch of coastline about 70 miles northeast of Corpus Christi.“We are contacting customers with critical deliveries and trying to find a way to expedite production so we can get products out,” says Peter Hirsch, president of supplier Hirsch Gift, Inc., in Houston. “We are also co...
August 24, 2017
The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. continues its upward swing. Last month, it increased 0.3 percent to 128.3, following an uptick of 0.6 percent in June and 0.3 percent in May. Furthermore, in the six-month period ending July 2017, the leading economic index increased 2.3 percent, faster than the growth of 1.5 percent during the previous six months.The Conference Board’s Coincident Economic Index (CEI), a measure of current economic activity, also increased in July,...
August 24, 2017
U.S. industrial production growth continues to pick up steam, reports ITR Economics in the August edition of its ITR Advisor. Compared to the year-ago level, U.S. industrial production is up 0.2 percent—utilities production and total manufacturing production are up 0.9 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, compared to last year, while U.S. mining production, although on an upward trend, is 1.5 percent behind where it was last year. ITR Economics expects all three sectors to show continued growt...
August 24, 2017
The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. continues its upward swing. Last month, it increased 0.3 percent to 128.3, following an uptick of 0.6 percent in June and 0.3 percent in May. Furthermore, in the six-month period ending July 2017, the leading economic index increased 2.3 percent, faster than the growth of 1.5 percent during the previous six months.The Conference Board’s Coincident Economic Index (CEI), a measure of current economic activity, also increased in July,...
August 24, 2017
Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), an independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products, has expanded its Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) with the addition of Quincy, Massachusetts-based distributor Stran Promotional Solutions (PPAI 161542). The council’s mission is to elevate the standards by which firms that import and manufacture products are consistently delivering safe, high quality, socially compliant and environmentally con...
August 24, 2017
Last week, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett traveled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to speak at the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals’ (UMAPP) Holiday Showcase & End Buyer Expo.Speaking to an audience of distributor attendees and their invited clients, Barnett tailored his message to focus on the broader topic of mastering the Millennial market, including social media usage and connectivity skills. Barnett says, “This was the first end-user show...
August 24, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in the coming weeks visits with PPAI board members and 2017 election candidates, independent contractor classification best practices and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars this summer include:PPAI Supplier Board Elections 2017August 29, Noon CTDeclaration Of Independent Contractors: Pillars And PitfallsAugust 30, 1 pm CTPPAI Executive ...
August 22, 2017
As reported Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, Los Angeles-based distributor Superior Uniform Group, Inc., through its BAMKO, LLC (PPAI 242148) division, has acquired substantially all of the assets and assumed certain liabilities of distributor Public Identity, Inc. (PPAI 230372), also located in Los Angeles. "The acquisition of Public Identity by BAMKO results in a union that will make our combined entity a force to be reckoned with in the collegiate licensing space," says Philip Ko...
August 22, 2017
Promotional products companies are an established presence on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 5000 ranking of the country’s fastest-growing private companies, and 2017 is no exception. To qualify for the 2017 Inc. 5000, businesses must be privately owned and based in the United States. Only businesses with at least $100,000 in sales as of March 31, 2013 and $2 million in 2016 were eligible."The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive,” says Inc. President and...
August 22, 2017
Proforma Albrecht & Co. (PPAI 671273), based in Milford, Ohio, has acquired Cincinnati, Ohio, distributor Professional Image. For more than 20 years, Professional Image has specialized in apparel, uniforms, embroidery and fulfilment.“Professional Image has a sterling reputation of providing top quality products and services,” says Fred Albrecht, co-owner of Proforma Albrecht & Co. “Professional Image’s experienced team, notable clients and added service offerings increase our overall com...
August 22, 2017
Supplier BrandCharger (PPAI 514118), headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, has opened a new office in Shenzhen, China, and has relocated its product development department to the new location. BrandCharger’s new office is in Shenzhen Valley Ventures, an incubator for tech hardware startups in partnership with Zowee, a manufacturer and designer of products for companies like Huawei, Lenovo, Xiaomi and Samsung. Participation in Shenzhen Valley Ventures gives BrandCharger access to manufact...
August 22, 2017
Distributor Geiger (PPAI 105182) recently held its 10th annual Geiger Galleria at the Marriott Marquis in Atlanta, Georgia. The three-day event drew more than 400 attendees, including Geiger sales partners, associates and industry representatives, and offered industry education, a private trade show, motivational speakers, sales recognition and networking opportunities.The Geiger Galleria agenda included a presentation from motivational speaker Dan Nevens, who shared his story of turning his lif...
August 22, 2017
Promotional products business and sales software provider commonsku (PPAI 552077) is hosting its fifth annual skucon conference on January 14 in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. To be held in a new, larger venue on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas, skucon’s speaker lineup includes Scott Alterman, The Icebox; Jake Director and Riley Goodman, Strideline; Stephanie Leader, Leaderpromos; Anita Emoff, Boost Technologies; Janie Gaunce, Grapevine Designs; Lee Strom, SanMar; Brandon Mack...
August 22, 2017
Last week in Austin, Texas, the fourth annual PPAI Technology Summit presented two days of in-depth, diverse discussion on the issues, challenges and opportunities top-of-mind among industry technology professionals. Running August 16-17, for the third year in a row Tech Summit was held immediately following the North American Leadership Conference (NALC), which ended August 15.“Tech Summit this year was awesome,” says Jon Norris, vice president at supplier Starline USA, and chair of the Tech Su...
August 22, 2017
PPAI has officially launched Promo Connect, a knowledge community platform for the promotional products industry. Rather than replace social and business networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn, Promo Connect offers a place for industry-specific peer networking; collaboration; sharing of best practices, ideas and concepts; information gathering; and seeking and offering expert opinion and advice.PPAI Director of Professional Development Jennifer Crowfoot says, “In today’s world, regardless of the...
August 22, 2017
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released updated information on the product safety training events it is hosting in China in September. The programs will educate and train the promotional products industry’s manufacturing partners on U.S. regulations.CPSC staff will present a free forum and training for prospective and participating laboratories in the CPSC’s Third Party Testing Program on conformity assessment of children’s products, from 8 am to 4 pm on September 11 in G...
August 17, 2017
The PPAI Technology Summit opened on Wednesday in Austin, Texas, beginning two days of education, networking and discussion. In its fourth year, Tech Summit brings together more than 110 industry technology professionals at all levels to share best practices and case studies, and to discuss critical topics and some of the solutions available. Introduced in conjunction with Expo East 2014, this is the third year the event has followed the PPAI North American Leadership Conference, which wrapped u...
August 17, 2017
NewClients Promotional Marketing has adopted a new name, Boost Promotional Branding (PPAI 107225), that the Richmond, Virginia-based distributor says better aligns with its mission, to strengthen the memories and experiences that people have with their preferred brands. The company’s direct mail division has rebranded as Boost Direct Marketing.“Corporations and companies of all sizes strive to create a tangible and lasting connection between their brand and their customers,“ says Teki Hall, CEO ...
August 17, 2017
Distributor Inkwell Global Marketing (PPAI 105907), based in Manalapan, New Jersey, has completed the purchase of New York City promotional product and print firm North American Data Form.North American D.F. has operated in Brooklyn and Staten Island since 1993. Its owner, Chrissy Mazzolla, and her staff will remain at their current location in Staten Island temporarily before relocating to Inkwell's Manhattan office by the end of 2017. “It is a great fit; we are excited to welcome Chrissy and t...
August 17, 2017
The Prince estate and the Pantone Color Institute have announced the creation of a standardized custom color to represent and honor the late musician. The purple hue, represented by his “Love Symbol #2” was inspired by his custom-made Yamaha purple piano, which was originally scheduled to go on tour with the performer before his untimely passing at the age of 57. The color pays tribute to Prince’s indelible mark on music, art, fashion and culture, and will be the official color across the brand ...
August 17, 2017
DistributorCentral has launched the promotional products industry’s first intelligence search engine, which is designed to provide faster, more relevant results with each product search. The release, codenamed “Prophet,” is part of a long-term plan to modernize the promotional products industry and culminates years of focused development.  In early 2015, DistributorCentral transitioned from a co-located server system to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and leverages their serverless architecture.  This...
August 17, 2017
This year’s PPAI North American Leadership Conference brought an impressive and influential group of industry business leaders, owners and executives from many of the top companies in the industry together this week for insightful education, information sharing, networking and, of course, a little live music in the Live Music Capital of the World—Austin, Texas.“The leaders who participated in NALC are up for the challenges our industry is facing and are embracing the need to continuously engage ...
August 15, 2017
PPAI has named David Woods, MAS, retired president and CEO of Neenah, Wisconsin, distributor AIA Corporation, and the late Janelle Nevins, formerly senior vice president at Silver Spring, Maryland-based distributor Summit Group (PPAI 105050), as the 2018 PPAI Hall of Fame inductees. The announcement was made today at the PPAI North American Leadership Conference in Austin, Texas.“PPAI is incredibly proud to induct Janelle and David into the Hall of Fame,” says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI presiden...
August 15, 2017
Today, at the PPAI North American Leadership Conference, Charles Duggan, MAS+, and William “Bill” Lazarus were announced as the 2018 PPAI Distinguished Service Award honorees. The award recognizes PPAI members who consistently contribute their skills and expertise toward the betterment of the Association through volunteer service and leadership.Duggan is the national and strategic key accounts manager, West, for San Diego, California-based supplier Goldstar (PPAI 114031). Lazarus is owner and vi...
August 15, 2017
Supplier Fossil Group has released financial results for its fiscal second quarter, which ended July 1. The Richardson, Texas, company reports quarterly net sales of $597 million.Fossil’s worldwide net sales decreased 13 percent or $88.6 million in the second quarter, and growth in connected watches was more than offset by declines in traditional watches. Declines in leathers and jewelry, and changes in foreign currency also negatively affected net sales. "With the first half of 2017 now behind ...
August 15, 2017
When Roy Spence applied for a $5,000 business loan to launch an ad agency with three college friends after graduating from the University of Texas in 1971, he told the banker his business plan was, among other things, to make a difference. Today, 46 years later, with iconic campaigns for clients such as Southwest Airlines, Walmart and the State of Texas under his belt, the co-founder at Austin’s most prominent ad agency, GSD&M, continues his purpose-driven focus. He’s also CEO of The Purpose...
August 15, 2017
Supplier Sweda Company, LLC (PPAI 113914) has added two new services to its PromoStandards integration, Order Status and Order Ship Notifications. PromoStandards is an industry-wide collaboration designed to enable industry participants to improve customer experience, reduce transactional friction and improve the digital promotional experience. Sweda currently supports the Inventory, Order Status and Order Ship Notification standards with commitments to adhere to all future standards and plans t...
August 15, 2017
PPAI’s North American Leadership Conference brought more than 135 industry leaders and business executives to Austin, Texas, this week to examine and discuss top-of-mind issues affecting the industry and learn from leading innovators in many critical areas of today’s businesses. The event also provided a variety of opportunities for leaders to network and exchange ideas.A reception and dinner opened the conference Sunday evening at the Four Seasons Hotel with a welcome from Honorable Steve Adler...
August 15, 2017
Twenty of the most watchable young industry leaders were recognized on Sunday evening at the opening dinner of the PPAI North American Leadership Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas.As part of its annual Rising Stars program, PPB magazine presented a short profile on each honoree and brought the 17 in attendance to the stage amid thunderous applause. Earlier in the day, the group posed for a photo at the hotel which will be used on the cover of PPB’s September issue, in which t...
August 15, 2017
Supplier Independent Folders (PPAI 111993) won three awards at Proforma’s recent Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida: the Gold Award in the Packaging Solutions category, the Bronze Award in the Printing category and the Centurion Award for growing more than $100,000 in sales with Proforma in a year.“Attending the convention on behalf of Independent Folders was incredibly rewarding, because it gave me the opportunity to promote the company to more than 450 Proforma owners and sales representati...
August 10, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index rebounded in July, following a slight decrease in June. The index grew in July to 133.77, up from 132.42 the month before, and is up 4.8 percent from where it stood one year ago.“Those who have been following The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index are not surprised by the strong employment growth in June and July,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “In July, the rapid improvement in the index continue...
August 10, 2017
Gildan Activewear (PPAI 250187) has released financial results for second quarter 2017, reporting net sales of $715.4 million, a $26.5 million or 3.8-percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. Sales for the first half of the year were also up, increasing by $98.5 million, or 7.7 percent, compared to $1,380.7 million.The Montreal-based supplier’s sales increase for the quarter was driven by upticks in sales of 1.9 percent in the printwear segment and 8.1 percent in branded apparel. The...
August 10, 2017
Distributor Stevick Business Specialties and Advertising of Minot, North Dakota, has joined Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664), a community of promotional products distributors.Founded more than 25 years ago and led by owners Bernie Berntsen and Mike Zimmer, Stevick Business Specialties and Advertising specializes in business forms, wearables and hard goods. Berntsen says, “We’ve put in a lot of work to grow our business organically, now it’s time for us to use Facilisgroup’s integrated software, best p...
August 10, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in August and September looks at economic indicators, independent contractor classification best practices and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars include:Strengthen Your Business PositionAugust 23, 1 pm CTDeclaration Of Independent Contractors: Pillars And PitfallsAugust 30, 1 pm CTPPAI Executive Board of Directors Town Hall 2017Septemb...
August 10, 2017
Each year, attendees at the annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit take home a sourcing and compliance manual that serves as a guide for industry companies to get their compliance programs up and running quickly and efficiently. At this year’s Summit, September 18-20 in Newport Beach, California, participants will receive a binder that has been comprehensively reimagined, with a shift in focus from corporate responsibility to risk management. Its best practices, worksheet samples, templates a...
August 08, 2017
PPB recently asked readers to help spotlight the best bosses in the industry. From more than 90 nominations, 14 individuals have been selected for this year’s honor based on their ability to create a great work environment, manage by empowerment, mentor their employees and make coming to work a joy. Since 2010, the magazine has sought out and recognized the top people managers in the promotional products industry based on nominations from readers. In that time, more than 150 individuals have bee...
August 08, 2017
Indicators in the PPAI/ITR Economics second-quarter 2017 Market Outlook Report point to continued growth for industry suppliers and distributors through 2017 and into 2018, but growth should slow as the next year progresses.The supplier member index annual growth rate climbed to 1.2 percent during second quarter 2017, and the economic research and consulting firm forecasts this growth trend to continue through the first half of 2018. ITR’s forecast, which extends to 2019, expects 4.1-percent and...
August 08, 2017
Supplier HanesBrands has released its second-quarter 2017 net sales and earnings growth figures. Net sales in second quarter, which ended July 1, increased 12 percent year over year to $1.65 billion. The company notes that this growth came primarily from acquisition contributions, but organic sales trends also improved for the second quarter; it expects them to turn positive and contribute to growth in the second half.Operating profit of $229 million in the quarter represented a three-percent in...
August 08, 2017
Distributor InnerWorkings, Inc. has announced financial results for second quarter 2017, which ended June 30. The Chicago-based company reports gross revenue of $279.5 million in the second quarter, an increase of four percent compared to second quarter 2016’s $269.2 million. Year to date, the company’s gross revenue of $546.9 million is up one percent compared to the $540.3 million of the same period last year.“Our second-quarter results reflect strong execution of our strategy,” says Eric D. B...
August 08, 2017
In today’s world, promotional professionals are working harder than ever to meet deadlines and satisfy customer needs while dodging problems and overcoming challenges. If you’re lucky, you’ve found a service superhero who goes above and beyond what’s expected—and makes you look like a star.Help PPB identify those who deliver top customer service—in your company or a vendor company—even if the person is not working in a typical “customer service” role. Salespeople, owners, managers—they too can d...
August 08, 2017
PPAI staff members are long-time supporters of Irving Cares, a United Way agency dedicated to providing Irving, Texas, residents with temporary assistance and training to promote self-sufficiency. Since 2003, they have donated their time, money and labor to the agency, collecting more than 42,000 pounds of food for its food pantry, among other contributions. This week, the PPAI team joined Irving Cares board members and staff in decorating dozens of rocks which will be placed throughout the city...
August 08, 2017
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) will spend three days in Guangzhou and Shanghai, China on September 11-13 to educate and train the promotional products industry’s manufacturing partners on U.S. regulations.CPSC staff will present a free forum and training for prospective and participating laboratories in the CPSC’s Third Party Testing Program on conformity assessment of children’s products, from 8 am to 5 pm on September 11 in Guangzhou.In cooperation with the European Commiss...
August 03, 2017
Distributor Perfection Promo (PPAI 461838) and industry organization The Partnering Group have demonstrated their commitment to professional development and the success of the promotional products industry through higher education with pledges to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF). Perfection Promo has pledged $6,000 to the Tomorrow Fund over six years, and The Partnering Group has pledged $12,000 over six years to the Tomorrow Fund and $6,000 over six years to the Bill Schmidt...
August 03, 2017
Delta Apparel, Inc. has released its third quarter 2017 and nine-months fiscal results, reporting an increase in sales of $4 million for the quarter and net income for the nine-month period of $8.4 million, compared to $6.7 million during the same period in 2016.The Greenville, South Carolina, supplier’s third-quarter sales increase of approximately four percent excludes sales of its Junkfood Clothing Company, which it sold in March 2017. The first nine months of fiscal 2017 included two quarter...
August 03, 2017
The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) inducted four long-time industry leaders into its inaugural IMA Hall of Fame at its recent annual Summit in Orlando, Florida—Greg Canose, George Delta, the late George Kling and the late Karen Renk.During his presidency last year, Spencer Toomey, vice president of Revo Sunglasses, and now IMA past president, described the idea for the IMA Hall of Fame, saying, “I felt it was important to be able to honor the people whose vision and dedication fostered th...
August 03, 2017
SAGE has launched its new SAGE Insider Program to give the company’s subscribers an opportunity to influence the vision and future of SAGE products and services. The program gives subscribers a channel to directly communicate with the SAGE development team; exchange ideas, share feedback and learn about upcoming features through a new, member-only SAGE Insider Discussion Group; receive exclusive access to meetings and receptions at various industry events, and get special recognition for maintai...
August 03, 2017
BAG MAKERS, Inc. (PPAI 111408) held its mid-year National Sales Meeting in Delray Beach, Florida, on July 17-19. The meeting brought the Union, Illinois-headquartered supplier’s sales team together to share best practices, successes and industry knowledge, and extensive educational programming.“Our sales team is known in the industry for focusing on solutions for our customers,” says Maribeth Sandford, BAG MAKERS’ CEO. “We value opportunities like this to bring all of these talented professional...
August 03, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes Nate Robson, director of sales at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, supplier Raining Rose, Inc. as the August PPB Volunteer of the Month. The Association’s PPB Volunteers of the Month have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, advisory group, work group or task force on which they serve.Robson served as the chair of PPAI’s Membership Services Committee. He was nominated by Dale Denham, MAS+, chief information officer at Geiger, PPAI Chair-El...
August 03, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett joined the annual sales conference for A Brand Company’ (PPAI 188929) last week to speak on the power of the promotional products industry in relation to doing business with the Millennial market.The conference’s programming tackled the challenges of the industry to ensure cooperative success by members of A Brand Company’s brands: BrandAlliance, Grapevine Designs and Performance Link. In his presentation, Barnett addressed the chang...
August 03, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in August and September looks at fair labor practices, economic indicators and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners.Upcoming webinars this summer include:To Exempt Or Not to Exempt, That Is The FLSA QuestionAugust 9, 1 pm CTStrengthen Your Business PositionAugust 23, 1 pm CTDeclaration Of Independent Contractors: Pillars And PitfallsAugust 30, 1 pm CTPPAI ...
August 03, 2017
Distributor Outstanding Branding (PPAI 678649) has been shortlisted in the Best Newcomer Category in the annual Investors in People Awards. The Inventors in People Awards celebrate the best organizations who put their people at the forefront of business decision making. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and dinner at Old Billingsgate, London, on November 23.The 12 Awards categories recognize the organizations that have achieved the highest standards. There are a range of Awards cat...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s inaugural SPARK conference for young professionals in the promotional products industry was a hands-down success last week in Denver, Colorado. Held July 27-28 at the Denver Marriott City Center, SPARK offered education and networking opportunities for more than 60 industry practitioners who are at the beginning stages of their careers in the promotional products industry.“The industry is evolving and SPARK is a great reflection of that,” says Heather Clay O’Neill, national account execut...
August 01, 2017
U.S. industrial production and the consumer sector continue to show strong performances, reports ITR Economics in the July edition of its ITR Advisor.Industrial production is benefiting from a resurgent mining sector, which has lagged the manufacturing and utilities components but is now buoyed by higher commodity prices. ITR expects mining, manufacturing and utilities to all rise over the next year, lifting the country’s industrial production levels.The consumer sector has performed well in rec...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Print Appeal (PPAI 467685), headquartered in Dallas, Texas, has been acquired by party goods company Party City Holdco, Inc. Under the terms of the agreement, Party City has purchased a 60-percent interest in Print Appeal valued at $2.8 million, with an agreement to purchase the remaining interest over the next four to five years."The acquisition of Print Appeal gives Party City vertical entry into a large and highly fragmented market for personalized products," says Party City CEO Jim ...
August 01, 2017
Above: ASI President and CEO Tim Andrews (center left) and PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE (center right), with the Proforma Annual Convention & Family Reunion hosts Greg and Vera Muzzillo.   Proforma’s 2017 Annual Convention & Family Reunion, held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, recently concluded with more than 700 industry professionals in attendance. The distributor’s four-day event included education sessions, motivational prese...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in August and September looks at fair labor practices, economic indicators and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars this summer include: Take A Tour Of The SAGE Online Integration With QuickBooks Premier August 2, 1 pm CT To Exempt Or Not to Exempt, That Is The FLSA Question August 9, 1 pm CT Strengthen Your Business Position August ...
August 01, 2017
Out of more than 5,000 submissions from 24 countries, Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664) was named a Bronze winner in the 2017 Summit Creative Award competition for its creative marketing work using promotional products. Facilisgroup’s entry was a new business development marketing campaign that utilized email marketing and promotional products as direct mail components. “As a member of and innovator in the promotional products industry, we’re honored to be chosen for this award, especially since we dem...
August 01, 2017
David Shultz, vice president of operations at industry technology provider DistributorCentral (PPAI 220404), serves on the board of Big Slick, a Kansas City charity benefiting Children’s Mercy Hospital. At this year’s event, held June 23-24, the charity beat its goal by $200,000 and raised $1.75 million to support children with cancer.“My main reason for being a Children’s Mercy supporter and donor over the last dozen or so years is that some of my very best friends had a child who was treated t...
August 01, 2017
Cimpress, the Dutch parent company of Waltham, Massachusetts, distributor Vistaprint (PPAI 565755), has released financial results for the fourth quarter and the 2017 fiscal year that ended June 30. The company’s revenues grew 18 percent, year-over-year, in the fourth quarter to $564.3 million, while annual revenues of $2.135 billion were up 19 percent over the previous year. "Fiscal year 2017 was important in terms of the evolution of Cimpress," says Robert Keane, president and chief execut...
August 01, 2017
3M, headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, and operating in the promotional products industry as 3M Promotional Markets (PPAI 113638), reports second-quarter sales of $7.8 billion in its fiscal second quarter, up 1.9 percent from the second quarter of 2016. “Our team posted another quarter of strong and broad-based organic growth, which included positive growth across all five of our business groups,” says Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We also continued ...
August 01, 2017
California’s Senate Bill 162 would prohibit licensed cannabis businesses from using promotional items to market their products. The bill, authored by California state Sen. Ben Allen, would “prohibit medical cannabis and non-medical marijuana licensees from advertising or using branded merchandise,” according to the bill. This measure passed unanimously through the state Senate and now awaits action by the state Assembly. PPAI is joining California promotional products businesses and regio...
August 01, 2017
PPAI's 2017 Board election candidates are (clockwise from top left) distributors Steve Levschuk, president of Talbot Marketing (PPAI 100789), and Todd Pottebaum, MAS+, president of Quality Resource Group (PPAI 159353); and suppliers Dan Frailey, president of RuMe, Inc. (PPAI 159353), and Lori Kates, president of IMAGEN Brands, parent company of Crown Products (PPAI 113430) and Vitronic (PPAI 114197). PPAI has announced four candidates for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2022 election. D...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Aura Badge Co. (PPAI 113888) has acquired the manufacturing assets of supplier Montco Advertising Specialties (PPAI 162102). Aura Badge, headquartered in Monroeville, New Jersey, will assume all of Norristown, Pennsylvania-based Montco’s manufacturing assets and services. The acquisition, effective July 24, provides a wider range of products and services to customers of both companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Montco will continue operations until all in-house ...
August 01, 2017
Consumer confidence, which had slipped marginally in June, ticked upward in July, reports The Conference Board. Its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 121.1, up from 117.3 in June. Breaking its findings down a bit, the Present Situation Index increased from 143.9 to 147.8, while the Expectations Index rose from 99.6 last month to 103.3. The monthly Consumer Confidence Survey, based on a probability-design random sample, is conducted for The Conference Board by Nielsen. "Consumer confiden...
August 01, 2017
Patrick Hughes, co-owner of distributor Custom Specialties in Overland Park, Kansas, passed away on July 24. He was 47. Hughes is survived by his wife Melissa, daughter Maddy and son Max; his parents Judy and Alan; and brothers Mark, Chris, Stuart and Brian, his sisters-in-law Medha, Lisa and Tammy; and his father-in-law Dr. Robert Henson.. A memorial service for Hughes will be held at Westside Family Church in Lenexa, Kansas, on July 29 at 11 am, with a gathering to follow at 12- 2pm. I...
August 01, 2017
HALO's Dave Gephard, MAS (left) with Rep David Price and the 2017 PPAI Legislative Agenda, which they discussed during their visit. Dave Gephart, MAS, a national account manager with HALO Branded Solutions, met with Rep. David Price of North Carolina recently to discuss the Affordable Care Act and the promotional products industry’s legislative priorities. Gephart has known the congressman for a number of years, and provides his campaign materials and signs. He meets with Rep. Price throu...
August 01, 2017
Anne Marie Buerkle has been nominated by President Trump to serve as chair of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. A current commissioner of the CPSC, Buerkle has been serving as acting chair of the commission since February. If confirmed by the Senate, she will begin a new seven-year term on October 27. Buerkle was appointed to the CPSC by President Obama in 2013. She was the keynote speaker at PPAI’s Product Responsibility Summit in 2015. “I am honored that the President intends...
August 01, 2017
IMA President Sean Roark presents Pete Mitchell with the association's 2017 President's Award. At its annual summit this week in Orlando, Florida, the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) honored two members for their accomplishments. Brian Dunne, CPIM, managing director at Giftcard Consulting, was presented with the Karen Renk Fellowship Award, while Pete Mitchell received the 2017 IMA President’s Award. The Karen Renk Fellowship Award was established in 2014 to honor the late Renk, who...
August 01, 2017
Cintas Corporation (PPAI 303547) has released the results for its fourth quarter and 2017 fiscal year, which ended May 31. The Mason, Ohio-based distributor’s fourth quarter revenue of $1.53 billion was up 23.1 percent from the same period last year, while the fiscal year’s $5.32 billion in revenue represents an 11-percent year-over-year increase. “Our strong finish to the fiscal year helped us to achieve a seventh consecutive year of organic growth in the mid to high single digits,” says Sco...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has released the white paper “Mitigating Risk in Modern Meetings and Incentives,” drawing on findings from its 2016 Event Disruption Study. The report highlights that meeting planners now spend up to 25 percent of their time planning for potential disruptions and that nearly 40 percent expect the time and effort they put into planning for disruptions to increase in the next two years. Disruptive incidents reported by meeting planners are happening with ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Logomark (PPAI 110898) has announced the winners of its second annual 12 Weeks of Summer campaign sweepstakes. The campaign ran May 2 to July 10 and received 2,341 submissions. The 2017 grand prize winner, Sarah Metzger with Sunrise Identity, will receive a trip for two to Southern California; a private, VIP access tour of the Logomark facility in Tustin; dinner with CEO Trevor Gnesin and his senior staff; as well as two full days exploring the area’s beaches and major attractions. P...
August 01, 2017
John H. West, past president and owner of Von Senden Company and a partner at distributor HDS Marketing (PPAI 103825), passed away on July 9 after a brief illness. He was 90. West’s business career as a sales executive led him to becoming president and owner of the Von Senden company, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based distributor founded in 1891. The company sold a wide range of products, including Cross and Parker pens, Zippo lighters, Hazel folders, die-struck medallions and more to clients ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s accomplishments and successes are spotlighted in its just-released 2016 Annual Report, which describes the Association’s organizational strategy and provides performance updates on its goals and initiatives for the year ending December 31, 2016. The Association’s core mission is to grow and protect the promotional products industry and enhance the professionalism and success of its members. A new strategic plan that was developed in 2016 added relationship-based engagement with indivi...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in August and September looks at fair labor practices, economic indicators and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars this summer include: Take A Tour Of The SAGE Online Integration With QuickBooks Premier August 2, 1 pm CT To Exempt Or Not to Exempt, That Is The FLSA Question August 9, 1 pm CT Strengthen Your Business Positi...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands’ (PPAI 191138) Canterbury Distribution Center, in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, has been recognized by the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL) for reaching two million employee hours without injury. One of 21 facilities in the state to receive the recognition in the first half of 2017, this is the third time this year the NCDOL has honored the supplier’s safety achievements. It honored the Cleveland Distribution Center, also in Kings Mountain, for reaching two million em...
August 01, 2017
Woodinville, Washington-based distributor Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, LLC (PPAI 109381), has acquired SwervePoint (PPAI 336283), a Boston-based promotional merchandise firm. With the acquisition, BDA significantly expands its Boston operations and extends service offerings for both company clients. “Over the past decade, SwervePoint has established itself as an industry innovator focused on amazing customer service. Early on, we identified them as a potential acquisition partner due t...
August 01, 2017
The U.S Senate has cut its August recess in half, delaying its summer break until the third week in August. The recess is typically a month-long official break in the annual congressional calendar. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pushed back the start to give the Senate more time to work on reform of the Affordable Care Act, and tackle the National Defense Authorization Act and other issues. While the Senate has postponed its recess, the House of Representatives at present intends to ...
August 01, 2017
In its June Employment Trends Index (ETI), The Conference Board reports a slight decrease compared to May, when it registered an increase. The index stands at 133.07 for June, down from 133.32 the month before. Compared to one year ago, however, June’s reading represents a 4.6-percent uptick. “Despite the June decline in the Employment Trends Index, job growth will remain strong in the coming months. The decline is small and comes after a series of large increases since early 2017,” says Gad...
August 01, 2017
In May and June, eight industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) or Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) industry certifications. They join an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to their profe...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s summer webinars look at important compliance best practices, product liability challenges and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars this summer include: Go-Go Bananas: Challenges Of Product Liability And Indemnification Up And Down The Stream of Commerce July 19, 1 pm CT International Business Expansion August 2, 1 pm CT To Exempt Or Not t...
August 01, 2017
Staples, Inc. has produced a public service announcement starring Lady Gaga. First introduced on StaplesforStudents.org, the PSA’s call to action promotes kindness in school and supports teachers with the resources they need for a successful classroom. The Framingham, Massachusetts-company participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945). Staples’ PSA highlights DonorsChoose.org, a charity that has helped fund more than 25,000 classro...
August 01, 2017
Custom Plastic Specialties, LLC, which operates in the promotional products market as supplier CPS/Keystone (PPAI 111040), has announced a management-led buyout of the company in partnership with GenCap America. The news was first reported in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert on Monday. Key members of the senior management team participating in the buyout include Kippie Helzel, senior vice president, sales; Pete Gleason, vice president, sales; and Eric Enzbrenner, vice president, manufacturi...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF), the industry’s nonprofit founded to recognize and encourage scholastic excellence and academic performance among promotional products industry employees and their college-aged children, has named its scholarship recipients for the 2017-2018 academic year. “PPEF is off to a record-breaking year with the most applications ever received and the most scholarship funds ever awarded. The Scholarship Committee started with 540 applications and na...
August 01, 2017
Distributor BrandAlliance (PPAI 188929) is entering the final stages of a two-year implementation for its merger with Activate! Promotions + Marketing. As part of the process, BrandAlliance has initiated a coordinated centralization of its regional leadership across the U.S. and Canada. The restructure includes a newly formed eastern Canada region comprised of the Toronto and Waterloo, Ontario, and Montreal, Quebec offices. It will be led by Ian McLearon, who also leads the U.S. and Canada e...
August 01, 2017
PromoStandards is hosting its first-ever development workshop in conjunction with the PPAI Technology Summit in Austin, Texas. PromoStandards is a group of distributors, suppliers and service providers seeking supply chain efficiencies through standards for the promotional products industry. The workshop will be held from 12:30 to 4:30 pm on August 15 at Austin’s Hyatt Regency Hotel, just ahead of Tech Summit’s kick-off and less than a mile away from its location. The PromoStandards workshop ...
August 01, 2017
Gildan Activewear has released its 2016 corporate, social and environmental responsibility (CSR) report, which provides a comprehensive review of the Montreal, Quebec-based supplier’s progress on its commitments to its people, communities, the environment and products. “As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of apparel and socks, we understand that operating responsibly and integrating sustainable solutions drives our success and enables our future growth,” says Glenn Chamandy, president...
August 01, 2017
Canada has suspended the implementation of the final phase of its Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) in response to concerns raised by businesses, charities and the nonprofit sector. CASL was enacted in 2013 to protect Canadians from receiving commercial e-mails without their consent, and most portions became effective in July 2015. The law’s final phase, which would have allowed lawsuits to be filed against individuals and organizations for alleged violations of the legislation, was due to go into ef...
August 01, 2017
In recent years, the legal status of cannabis has shifted across much of the United States. Currently, 26 states and Washington, D.C. have legalized it in some form, with another three states set to join them with the passing of medical marijuana legislation. Legalization has opened a range of business opportunities, but in California, promotional products may not be among them if Senate Bill 162 becomes law. Senate Bill 162 would prohibit cannabis-related branding on promotional products and...
August 01, 2017
The Trump Administration has extended duty-free treatment to imports of all statutorily-eligible travel goods—including luggage, handbags, backpacks, tote bags, etc.—from all eligible countries under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program. The change went into effect on July 1. The GSP program allows duty-free access to the U.S. market by products from developing and least-developed countries in order to facilitate global competition and to improve consumer choice in the U.S. ...
August 01, 2017
Almost a quarter of meetings are affected by disruption in some way, impacting meetings and incentive planning in sometimes significant ways. The Incentive Research Foundation’s (IRF) 2016 Event Disruption Study explores the frequency, causes, sources and impact of recent disruptions in meetings and incentive travel. The IRF’s study found that almost 60 percent of planners have experienced some form of disruption at their events, ranging from terrorist attacks and the Zika virus to weather-re...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Cotton Candy, Inc. (PPAI 134679), headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, has joined the Quality Certification Alliance’s (QCA) Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC). The QCA is an independent, non-governmental accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. “Cotton Candy has understo...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Hasseman Marketing & Communications (PPAI 314957), headquartered in Coshocton, Ohio, has acquired Paparazzi Promotional Marketing (PPAI 513022). Paparazzi Promotional Marketing, based in Irvine, California, was founded by Marty Hagerty in 2011. Hasseman Marketing CEO Kirby Hasseman says, “Marty has a great creative mind and has built a business with a great reputation. We are excited about partnering with him to make both teams even stronger.” Hagerty adds, “Hasseman Marketin...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes the members of the Industry Branding Initiative Advisory Group as the July PPB Volunteers of the Month. Those selected for the honor have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, advisory group, work group or task force on which they serve. The members of the PPAI Industry Branding Initiative Advisory Group are: David Clifton, chief marketing officer, alphabroder, supplier in Trevose, Pennsylvania. Larry Cohen, presiden...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s summer webinars look at important compliance best practices, product liability challenges and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars this summer include: Making Your Import Compliance Manual Work for You July 12, 1 pm CST Go-Go Bananas: Challenges Of Product Liability And Indemnification Up And Down The Stream of Commerce July 19, 1 pm CST ...
August 01, 2017
Last night’s casual closing networking dinner at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia put the finishing touch on what many of the 163 attendees are describing as the best PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference so far. PPAI Chair Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, CEO of CE Competitive Edge, Inc., sums up what she heard over the past few days from first-timers and long-time attendees alike. “I think this conference was amazing,” she says. “Everyone who was here really wanted to be here. They are...
August 01, 2017
Staples, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement with Sycamore Partners to be acquired by the private equity firm for approximately $6.9 billion. The Framingham, Massachusetts-company participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945). Robert Sulentic, chairman of the board, says, “Today’s announcement is the result of a comprehensive process in which our board, with the assistance of a transaction committee comprised of independen...
August 01, 2017
For two out of three consumers, custom content from a business is more trustworthy than traditional advertising. A study by Time, Inc., which surveyed more than 17,000 Generation Z, Millennial and Generation X respondents, found that custom content is perceived as thoughtful and providing value. Time found that 90 percent of respondents like the idea of custom content as a way for brands to engage them, while 89 percent believe it does a good job of breaking through the advertising clutter. ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Hall of Fame member and former PPAI board chair Don Edwards, CAS, appeared on KVOI AM 1030’s “What’s Up AZ” on Saturday to discuss his role as an Honorary Commander at Davis Monthan Air Force Base. A Korean War veteran, Tucson resident Edwards used the G.I. Bill to get his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and to this day works to give back to the military that has supported him in life. After a trip to South Korea in the mid-1990s, where one of his sons was living and working in Seoul, h...
August 01, 2017
HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) hosted SuccessFit4Life!’s FUN Run/Walk event at its national sales meeting this week in Nashville, Tennessee. Open to everyone regardless of their fitness level, the run/walk’s route took HALO’s account executives and supplier partners through downtown Nashville, including across the Cumberland River and along the city’s famous Honky Tonk Row. “HALO has a corporate culture that encourages people to be active,” says Terry McGuire, HALO’s senior vice preside...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett joined the Future Business Leaders of America’s national conference this week in Anaheim, California, to deliver a presentation on personal branding as a means of standing out to future employers. Barnett spoke to an audience of college students from across the country at the conference about how, as a group, they represent the last of the Millennials to enter the job market, and hold a vital role in ensuring that the generation m...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Board Chair Mary Jo Tomasini opening the Women’s Leadership Conference on Monday night by sharing the story of how she started her career and launched and grew a thriving distributor company. The splendor of the Arizona desert in summertime provided a breathtaking backdrop for this year’s Women’s Leadership Conference taking place this week in Scottsdale. The annual event, now in its 13th year, drew a record 163 attendees, including 67 first-timers, to the Omni Scottsdale Resort &amp...
August 01, 2017
The Department of Labor’s “Fiduciary Rule,” an amendment to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act issued by the Department of Labor in 2016, loosens the federal government’s definition of a fiduciary—“persons who provide investment advice or recommendations for a fee or other compensation with respect to assets of a plan or IRA.” While elements of the rule went into effect June 9—full implementation is scheduled by January 2018—it faces new scrutiny and challenges as the Department of Labo...
August 01, 2017
Ennis, Inc. has reported financial results for its first quarter, ending May 31. The Midlothian, Texas-headquartered supplier’s net print sales for first quarter were $94.6 million, a 4.6-percent increase compared to first quarter 2016, and its gross profit margin, at $29.9 million or 31.6 percent, was up from $26.7 million and 29.5 percent during the same period last year. The company sold Alstyle Apparel in May 2016. Prior to the sale, its financial overview outlines its print and apparel o...
August 01, 2017
SanMar Corporation (PPAI 110788) has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). The Issaquah, Washington, supplier will use the group’s sustainability measurement tool, the Higg Index, to drive environmental and social responsibility throughout its global supply chain. With its membership in SAC, SanMar joins more than 195 global brands, retailers and manufacturers, as well as government, non-profit environmental organizations and academic institutions collectively committed to improvin...
August 01, 2017
Boss Holdings, parent company of industry supplier Galaxy Balloons (PPAI 113835), has through its subsidiary Boss Pet Products purchased the pet product distribution business and related assets of Garden Grove, California’s Coast 2 Coast Wholesale Pet Products. Boss funded the purchase from its existing working capital. Boss management believes the Coast 2 Coast line of top OEM branded pet products presents a significant opportunity for growth and cross-selling opportunities. Boss Pet already...
August 01, 2017
SAGE has released a new version of its app, SAGE Mobile, which adds full order management, discussion groups and other features. The app, available for iOS and Android devices, allows industry distributors access to research and business management operations while on the go, and offers an integrated solution across the SAGE Online, SAGE Web and SAGE Mobile platforms. Major new features in the SAGE Mobile 6.5 release give users the ability to: Create, modify and track all orders in an or...
August 01, 2017
Teresa Moisant, MAS (center), here with past recipient Jo-an Lantz, MAS, and her nominator, Brian Porter, was presented with the Woman of Achievement Award at WLC's opening dinner. Teresa Moisant, MAS, owner and president of Moisant Promotional Products, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was honored Monday evening with the 2017 PPAI Woman of Achievement award. The presentation was the highlight of the opening event at the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa a...
August 01, 2017
IMAGEN Brands’ Crown and Vitronic, were recently awarded the 2016 Most Valuable Partner Award by distributor Proforma Albrecht & Co. at its Sales Achievement Awards Celebration at The Monastery in Cincinnati, Ohio in May. “This is one of the hardest decisions each year as Proforma Albrecht has such great supplier partners,” explains Fred Albrecht. “IMAGEN Brands was selected by our team based on overall sales, as well as a market-share increase of over 108 percent over the prior year thro...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Manufacturer’s Representatives Alliance (IMRA), a strategic industry group within the Incentive Marketing Association (IMA), has elected its officers for 2017-2018. Chris Harrison, national sales manager for KleerWest, is the 2017-2018 IMRA board president. Harrison has been involved in sales for brands and incentives for 15 years. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead our organization,” he says. “Our leadership has done a fantastic job over the past several years and I ...
August 01, 2017
As first reported Tuesday in a Breaking News alert, The Image Group (PPAI 103424) and Target Marketing (PPAI 109001) have announced an agreement to merge the companies, effective June 30. In a statement, owners for the two distributors say the merger will provide current and prospective clients with a greater range of marketing solutions, while bringing scale needed for continued efficiencies in operations, innovative technologies and greater reach nationally and internationally. The Image Gr...
August 01, 2017
In 2018, PPAI will celebrate 60 years of recognizing the outstanding work of member companies with its Pyramid Awards. First introduced in 1958, the PPAI Pyramid Award recognizes promotional products businesses and helps shine the spotlight on innovative and outstanding promotional campaigns and programs. To mark the milestone, PPAI is launching an all-encompassing rebrand of the PPAI Pyramid Award. The awards now incorporate previous award categories including the Suppliers Achievement, Tech...
August 01, 2017
Distributor ePromos Promotional Products, Inc. (PPAI 212648) has purchased select assets from Motivators, Inc. (PPAI 107086), a distributor headquartered in Westbury, New York. “Today’s purchase, including the Motivators.com brand and its customer base, is consistent with one of our key strategies to serve as a platform company in the promotional products industry,” says Jason Robbins, CEO of New York, New York-based ePromos. “In the next few months our incredible management team will fully i...
August 01, 2017
Digital and display advertising, as we know it, is on the ropes, reports research and advisory firm Forrester. In 2016, of $7.4 billion in spent on ads in the medium, only 40 percent was seen by an actual human and increasingly, consumers are finding ways to avoid it. Ad-blocking software is increasingly popular, Forrester reports, with 39 percent of U.S. adults online having installed it. Furthermore, 50 percent of online adults actively avoid it on websites and 75 percent do the same for mo...
August 01, 2017
Truck drivers and warehouse workers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have gone on strike to protest XPO Logistics’ Cartage and Port Services divisions. The strikes at the two ports, the busiest in the U.S., are blamed on drivers’ wage classification and concerns associated with recently announced zero-emissions goals at the ports. The strike began Monday at the Port of Los Angeles, with picketers from Teamsters union Local 848 spread across six or seven of its terminals. While the s...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) hosted its 24th Annual Education Invitational on June 14-18 at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, in Maui, Hawaii. The invitational is the IRF’s most important annual fundraising activity for research surrounding motivation and incentives. The event drew attendees from incentive travel and meeting companies representing more than 10,000 meetings and incentives with $1.5 billion in spending. Sixty-four percent were at the vice president level or hig...
August 01, 2017
Diann Smith, Deetria Horne's mother, shares a few words about her daughter at the Association's tree-planting ceremony. This morning, PPAI staff held a tree dedication ceremony in memory of Deetria Horne, a former marketing manager at the Association who passed away on May 28 following a long battle with cancer. Diann Smith, Horne’s mother, joined staff at the tree-planting ceremony. Horne joined PPAI’s marketing team in 2012 and worked with the Association’s departments and staff to deve...
August 01, 2017
The Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) hosted its fifth annual Summer Showcase for promotional products distributors and their clients on June 7. SAAGNY reports that the event attracted a record number of exhibitors, distributors and end-user clients, with end-user attendance nearly doubling over the past four years. The show floor opened was open from 10:30 am to 3 pm, and during that time more than 550 distributor attendees and their clients passed through its do...
August 01, 2017
Expo East 2017 came to a close Wednesday afternoon, culminating in three productive days at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. From all accounts, Expo East delivered the show experience industry professionals have come to expect from PPAI—an extensive education schedule, active trade-show floor and numerous networking opportunities—all on the East Coast. In 2015 and 2016, Expo East was held in March. The 2017 show returned to the summer timing it previously held...
August 01, 2017
U.S. advertising growth is expected to slow this year, media forecast and strategy agency Magna reports in its Media Advertising Forecast Spring Update. Fueled in part by sports events and the election, the U.S. market grew 7.7 percent in 2016. This year, advertising sales are expected to grow 1.6 percent to $185 billion. Among promotional products distributors, 67 percent are expecting sales to be up in 2017, compared with 66 percent in 2016, as reported in PPAI’s Annual Estimate Of Distributor...
August 01, 2017
Minuteman Press International was recently named to Entrepreneur magazine’s Best of the Best Franchises list, which recognizes the 105 companies that ranked at the top of their industry categories in the Entrepreneur 2017 Franchise 500 ranking. Minuteman Press was the No.1-rated printing and marketing services franchise. Many of the company’s franchisees operate in the promotional products market. “For 44 years, we have successfully built a reputation as printing and marketing industry leader...
August 01, 2017
Dale Denham, MAS+, CIO of Geiger, visits with representatives from supplier Admints & Zagabor. PPAI Expo East 2017 draws to a close this afternoon at Atlantic City, New Jersey’s Atlantic City Convention Center. The three-day event, which began on June 12 with a full day of education programming, featured an active trade-show floor and several networking opportunities. Monday’s education schedule brought together speakers from across the promotional products industry and beyond for 30 ...
August 01, 2017
Michael J. Harper has been named Summit Group, LLC’s chief executive officer by the Silver Spring, Maryland, distributor’s board of managers. He will oversee all three divisions of Summit Group: Branded Solutions, Recognition Solutions and Marketing Solutions in addition to the corporate leadership team. Harper, the third generation in the company, previously served as an account manager and the group president for Summit Branded Solutions. He says, “I am continually energized by the great wo...
August 01, 2017
Promotional products distributors are a busy group who like to have key information and answers at their fingertips. And the big question at every trade show booth is: What’s new? Attendees at this week’s Expo East got answers before they even had to ask. More than 100 Made In USA, Green Products, Express Ship and Top Sellers products were displayed in the Product Pavilions, a special section adjacent to the show floor. Early birds got a sneak peek on Tuesday morning, including Jackie Sneyers...
August 01, 2017
Distributor 4imprint (PPAI 107200) supported the work of 219 charitable organizations in first quarter 2017 through its one by one promotional products grants program. Through the program, 4imprint awards two $500 in-kind promotional products grants each business day to help organizations raise funds, increase awareness, recruit and recognize volunteers and educate the community. “It’s amazing to see how nonprofit organizations are continually finding clever, new ways to make a difference usi...
August 01, 2017
Showgoers flooded onto the exhibit floor when doors opened this morning. The Expo East show floor opened today at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, drawing attendees from across the Northeast and beyond for two days of the latest in promotional products from some of the industry’s top exhibitors. “PPAI and SAAGNY are excited to present the premier industry trade show on the East Coast,” says PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE. “Expo East continues ...
August 01, 2017
As first reported last week in PPB Newslink, BIC Graphic North America (PPAI 114187) announced that its parent company, BIC Group, had entered into an agreement with private equity firm H.I.G. Capital to sell its North American promotional products division. The closing is expected by June 30. PPB Newslink recently spoke with Emmanuel Bruno, vice president/general manager of BIC Graphic North America, on the company’s future and what distributors and the promotional products industry can expe...
August 01, 2017
WOVIN Brands, a Jackson, Wisconsin-based supplier, including WOV-IN® (PPAI 113213), Promopet® (PPAI 468134) and Footprints USA (PPAI 280344), has acquired Handy Industries (PPAI 163908), a City of Industry, California-based supplier. WOVIN Brands will relocate Handy Industies production to its facility in Jackson and will begin processing all orders on June 16. Handy’s automotive line will not be carried forward. Financial terms of the deal were not released. This is WOVIN Brand’s second acqu...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Vistaprint (PPAI 565755) has opened its first ever brick-and-mortar retail space in downtown Toronto, Ontario. The Waltham, Massachusetts, company’s space, Vistaprint Studio, operates six days a week, Monday to Saturday, and gives business owners the chance to touch products and get face-to-face help from staff members. In a survey of its North American customer base, Vistaprint found that 64 percent wanted more one-on-one support when developing their marketing materials. "We've ...
August 01, 2017
The mode of personal communication has changed dramatically over the past two decades, but the basic need for humans to communicate has not. People still have a strong desire to connect with each other, said speaker Crystal Washington in addressing Expo East attendees during Monday’s sold-out Power Luncheon, titled The Future Of Social Media For Sales Professionals. “Technology doesn’t replace face-to-face [conversation], phone calls or handwritten notes,” she said, “but you and your business wa...
August 01, 2017
PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE (center right) and Business Development Manager Ellen Tucker (second from right) met with Proforma President Greg Muzzillo (center), along with (from left) Proforma Chief Sales Officer Tom Rizzi, Director of Strategic Partner Developments Michele Cardello and Chief Marketing Officer Deanna Costello. On a recent trip to Florida, PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, and Business Development Manager Ellen Tucker met with Greg Muzzillo, preside...
August 01, 2017
Sue Kolonick (right) and Mary Kolonick and  from exhibitor Sport System in Woonsocket, New Jersey, head into the Expo East show floor. The doors opened at Expo East in Atlantic City, New Jersey, this morning, marking its return to a June time frame; for the past two years, it was held in March. The show, running through Wednesday at the Atlantic City Convention Center, brings an experience similar to The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas to the East Coast, with the same high level of exhibits, educatio...
August 01, 2017
Innovation drives businesses forward, but PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has found in its Innovation Benchmark study that many companies are struggling to align their innovation and business strategies. In a global survey of 1,200 executives and business leaders, PwC has found that 54 percent have difficulties bringing the two sides together. PwC’s study found that strategy, not investment, is the most important factor in whether an innovation initiative a success, making the disconnect it unco...
August 01, 2017
Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS, speaks on retail-to-promotional products trends during her education session at Expo East. What happens at retail doesn’t stay at retail—and that’s great news for buyers looking for retail-inspired logoed apparel to promote and reinforce their brands. At one of the education sessions held today during Expo East in Atlantic City, industry marketing expert Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS, presented an interactive look at 27 of the newest apparel and apparel decorating tre...
August 01, 2017
Expo East attendees wanting to take a something home with them to pique their intellect and stir their curiosity can take advantage of show’s book sale featuring work from past and present presenters. The books are available Monday and Tuesday at the professional development information center on the fourth floor of the Atlantic City Convention Center. One Tech Action by Crystal Washington Most professionals are overloaded and don't have enough hours in the day to finish everything they ne...
August 01, 2017
In 2016, U.S. promotional products sales reached a record $21.3 billion, continuing an upward trend that began in 2010, following 2009’s downturn. PPAI’s Annual Estimate of Distributor Sales reports growth of 2.39 percent in 2016, a slower pace than 2015’s 3.82-percent growth, and also a tightening of the gap between small and large distributors. More than half (58 percent) of all distributor companies reported better profits for 2016 than the year before. However, 25 percent of companies re...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index for May showed an increase, building on growth observed in April. The index grew in May to 133.7, up from 132.77 in April, and up 6.4 percent from where it was one year ago. “While employment numbers have shown some softness in the past three months, there is no slowdown visible in the Employment Trends Index, suggesting solid job growth over the summer,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “Employment will ...
August 01, 2017
Manufacturer’s rep firm Sharp Incentives of Phoenix, Arizona, has acquired Bellevue, Washington-based BrandSource Incentives (PPAI 383830). The sale expands Sharp Incentives’ territory from the Rocky Mountain/Southwest states through Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. The rep agency will continue to operate under the BrandSource Incentives name in the Northwest. Vilia Johnson, president of BrandSource Incentives and one of PPB’s Best Multi-Line Reps of 2016, is retiring effective June 30 ...
August 01, 2017
Soft Stuff President Lorne Kotzer speaks on toy safey during the supplier's seminar, "Eight Misconceptions In Toy Safety." Supplier Soft Stuff Creations, Inc. (PPAI 413041) recently hosted a seminar on toy safety at its Surrey, British Columbia, offices. The seminar, “Eight Misconceptions In Toy Safety,” was endorsed by the British Columbia chapter of the Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC), and hosted by Soft Stuff President Lorne Kotzer. Designed for suppliers and distri...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series this summer spotlights Canada’s new anti-spam rules, persuasive online marketing and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars this summer include: How To Create Persuasive Ads For Online Marketing July 5, 2 pm EDT Making Your Import Compliance Manual Work for You July 12, 2 pm EDT Go-Go Bananas: Challenges Of Product Liability ...
August 01, 2017
On Wednesday, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta rescinded the Department of Labor’s (DOL) joint employer rule that was put in place during the previous administration. The rule, which is similar to a 2015 National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruling, had drawn criticism over the regulatory confusion it created. The NLRB’s ruling said that companies were jointly liable for their contractors’ adherence to the National Labor Relations Act, while the DOL regulations rescinded this week found compa...
August 01, 2017
Gary Haley, president of supplier Beacon Promotions (PPAI 113702), has announced his retirement effective June 30. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Haley began his career at St. Paul-based distributor Brown & Bigelow in 1974 as a management trainee and spent 11 years there rising to marketing manager for proprietary products. He then moved to the supplier side of the industry with Advertising Unlimited, Inc. in Sleepy Eye. When the company was acquired by Norwood Promotional Products in 1...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Admore (PPAI 111144), a division of Ennis, Inc., took home Best in Show and People’s Choice awards at the 28th annual Detroit Club of Printing House Craftsmen, Gallery of Superb Printing competition, and a Gold award at the Foil & Specialty Effect Association’s (FSEA) 24th Annual Gold Leaf Awards. “We couldn’t be more pleased that our creative team is being recognized for its accomplishments,” says Bill Tignanelli, Admore’s general manager. “Their hard work and attention to detail is...
August 01, 2017
BIC Graphic North America (PPAI 114187) has announced that its parent company, BIC Group, has signed an asset and share purchase agreement to sell its North American promotional products division and Asian Sourcing division to an affiliate of H.I.G. Capital, a global U.S. private equity firm. “We are excited about partnering with H.I.G. for the next stage of our growth,” says Emmanuel Bruno, vice president/general manager of BIC Graphic North America. “We believe that they are the right partn...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Quality Resource Group (PPAI 159353), headquartered in Plymouth, Minnesota, has added Badger Graphic Systems of Madison, Wisconsin, to the QRG family of companies. Financial terms of the transaction were not released. “Gene Davis [CEO of distributor Badger Graphics] has built a remarkable company that’s deeply rooted in core values, process and the desire to exceed client expectations,” says Todd Pottebaum, MAS+, QRG president. “We look forward to offering scale and resources to B...
August 01, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, supplier Pro Towels (PPAI 112755) is relocating the Western U.S. location of its contract decorating division, Superior Decorating (PPAI 113588), to a new facility in Las Vegas, Nevada. Superior’s relocation of its Western U.S. operations from Camarillo, California, comes in response to new growth at the company and the need to expand its production. The move will bring new equipment, additional capacity and increased warehouse space. The company began the transit...
August 01, 2017
SAGE (PPAI 100001) has been named a preferred provider of research, marketing, and business management services to the independent members of Sports, Inc., a sporting goods buying organization. The deal provides full PPAI membership to Sports, Inc.’s 500-plus members as part of the Power of Two program. The Power of Two program is a strategic alliance to provide the industry with the combined benefits of a PPAI membership and SAGE products and services. SAGE will provide Team Sports Division ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI will be introducing a new industry initiative, Promo Connect, this summer and the Association is asking for members’ help in ensuring a strong launch. Promo Connect is a knowledge community platform for the promotional products industry. “Promo Connect provides a forum that allows members the opportunity to connect and engage in discussions on topics of interest and relevance to them,” says PPAI Director of Professional Development Jennifer Crowfoot. “It goes beyond the traditional socia...
August 01, 2017
Deetria (Dee) Shante' Horne, a former marketing manager at PPAI, passed away on May 28 following a long battle with cancer. She was 40. Born in Waco, Texas, Horne attended Fort Worth’s Eastern Hills High School, and Prairie View A&M and the University of Houston. An experienced graphic designer and project manager, she joined PPAI’s marketing team in 2012 and worked with the Association’s departments and staff to develop and craft their messaging to membership and the industry. Horne left th...
August 01, 2017
In its annual spotlight on the industry’s up-and-coming leaders, PPB has named 20 individuals as 2017 Rising Stars. The magazine’s annual recognition program seeks out and spotlights the industry’s most watchable young pros based on nominations related to their accomplishments, leadership potential and involvement in their industry and community. More than 80 individuals were nominated this year, a record for the program that was introduced in 2010 and has proven to be one of the most popular...
August 01, 2017
Consumer confidence slipped in May, reports the Conference Board in its latest Consumer Confidence Index, following an earlier decline in April. The index stands at 117.9, down from 119.4 in April. "However," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board, “Consumers' assessment of present-day conditions held steady, suggesting little change in overall economic conditions. Looking ahead, consumers were somewhat less upbeat than in April, but overall remain optimisti...
August 01, 2017
Marketers are latching onto sensory brand experiences to build relationships, drive sales and appeal to new audiences, reports brand experience provider Freeman. Drawing from a global survey of marketing professionals, the company found that marketers plan to increase their spending on immersive brand experiences, ranging from events, trade shows, sponsorships, virtual and hybrid events, and exhibits, to permanent installations, virtual or augmented reality experiences, and pop-ups. The marke...
August 01, 2017
While older consumers may claim a more cynical view towards advertising, research firm YouGov found that that the younger generation considers advertising helpful and enjoyable. YouGov’s poll found that, in contrast to those ages 18 and older, most U.S. teenagers aged 13-17 say that advertising helps them choose what to buy (58 percent) and that they enjoy spots featuring celebrities (55 percent). Their trust in advertising is more mixed. YouGov found that, when asked whether they find th...
August 01, 2017
Time and again, promotional products have proven themselves to be the most cost-effective way to reach a very targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner. But promotional products can do more than promote a brand. Highlighting the value the right product can bring to an initiative, research from Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia found that “baby boxes,” cardboard bassinets given to new parents, made a meaningful difference in parents’ education on safe sleep habit...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series this summer spotlights Canada’s new anti-spam rules, persuasive online marketing and more in the coming months. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in June and July include: Creative Campaigns And Utilizing IDEA Source June 7, 2 pm EDT Storming The CASL—Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation June 21, 2 pm EDT How To Create Persuasive Ad...
August 01, 2017
PPAI's 2018 PPAI Board of Directors officers are (from left) Dale Denham, MAS+, chair; Brittany David, CAS, chair-elect; Danny Rosin, CAS, vice chair, financial services; and Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, immediate past chair PPAI has selected its 2018 PPAI Board of Directors officers. They are: Dale Denham, MAS+, chair; Brittany David, CAS, chair-elect; and Danny Rosin, CAS, vice chair, financial services. Current chair Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, will take on the role of immediate past chair. The new ...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has released a report, “Using Behavioral Economics Insights in Incentives, Rewards, and Recognition: The Neuroscience,” that describes the unifying behavioral economic principles connecting the role of emotions with employee performance. The most powerful finding is that all forms of reward—monetary or otherwise—are processed in the brain’s master reward center, the striatum, and are experienced as rewarding feelings. For example, when research subjects...
August 01, 2017
The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) held its annual members-exclusive, end buyer table top show, Ideas In Bloom, on May 18 at the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan. MiPPA opened the doors to the show floor at 10 am and by the time they closed at 2 pm, more than 600 attendees had passed through.   The show opened with PPAI Member Engagement and Regional Relations Director Carol Gauger, MAS, presenting “Get In Touch With Th...
August 01, 2017
Proforma (PPAI 196835) has received three 2017 American Inhouse Design Awards from Graphic Design USA for the design and concepts behind the Cleveland, Ohio-based distributor’s marketing programs. The unique packaging for two of Proforma’s self-promotion direct mail pieces, along with a mini-promotional mailer were recognized in the competition for outstanding layout and design. “One of the challenges many distributors in our industry face is having the time and resources to develop marketing...
August 01, 2017
Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) was enacted in 2013 to protect Canadians from commercial e-mails without their consent, and most portions became effective in July 2015. On July 1, 2017, the law completes its final phase by providing a private right of action for those who believe an email sender has violated the law. Companies and individuals who send commercial emails to recipients in Canada should take action now, including reviewing their lists for Canadian-bound emails, adopting new...
August 01, 2017
As part of a strategic plan first introduced last year, Staples is pursuing a renewed emphasis on addressing the needs of small and mid-sized businesses and enterprise customers, and has recently launched a branding campaign to support it. The Framingham, Massachusetts-company participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945) and the promotional products market has been folded into what the company now refers to as “Pro Categories.” Th...
August 01, 2017
Multi-line rep firm Award Marketing Services, Inc. (PPAI 277622), headquartered in Whitehouse, New Jersey, has announced that effective July 1 it will merge with Hoffman & Edgette to form Hoffman & Edgette Award Marketing Services. “The greatest benefit will be to our customers, who will now have access to an outstanding variety of products while enjoying the very best in both sales support and customer service,” says Greg Canose, president of Award Marketing Services. “These services are vi...
August 01, 2017
Virtual assistant devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are finding traction with American consumers. Market research firm eMarketer expects the devices’ usage to grow 128.9 percent in 2017 as 35.6 million consumers turn to the voice-activated assistants at least once a month. eMarketer expects the Amazon Echo to take 70.6 percent of the market in 2017, followed by the Google Home at 23.8 percent. The remaining 5.6 percent will be split among Lenovo, LG, Harmon Kardon and other smaller pla...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series this summer shines a spotlight on the legislation and agencies that regulate the industry, Canada’s new anti-spam rules and more in the coming months. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars include: Legislation And Agencies That Regulate The Use of Promotional Products May 31, 2 pm EDT Creative Campaigns And Utilizing IDEA Source June...
August 01, 2017
Sean and Leslie Roark, owners of distributor PromoPros, hosted HPPA members at their Spring, Texas, home for the crawfish boil. The Houston Promotional Products Association (HPPA) hosted a crawfish boil for the regional association’s members on May 4. Held at the home of Sean and Leslie Roark, owners of distributor PromoPros, the event drew attendees from Houston, Southeast Texas and Louisiana. Patrick Reinecker, Preston Covell and Bill Ball took care of the cooking duties at the HPPA cr...
August 01, 2017
The Vernon Company (PPAI 109323) has named Christina Hamilton, who represents SanMar, its 2016 Supplier Account Manager of the Year at the Newton, Iowa, distributor’s annual National Sales Meeting last month. “Christina epitomizes what this award is about,” says Vicki Palm, Vernon’s director of marketing. “She provides outstanding support to our account executives and is dedicated to helping them succeed and grow their business. Vernon account executives respect her and trust her, and many se...
August 01, 2017
Consumers’ interest in licensed merchandise remains strong. In its 2017 Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) reports that global sales of licensed products and services grew 4.4 percent in 2016 to $262.9 billion. The industry’s largest segment remains entertainment/character, accounting for $118.3 billion, or 45 percent of the total global licensing market. Corporate/brand trademarks come in second, generating $54.6 bi...
August 01, 2017
U.S. industrial production ticked up in March 0.4 percent from the same month in 2016, reports ITR Economics in the May edition of its ITR Advisor. The increase, supported by consumer spending, backs a rising trend the economics analyst firm expects to last through early 2018. The U.S. economy is also benefiting from rising global demand. ITR sees increases in industrial production in Europe, Japan, China and South Korea, which should spur international trade and further upward movement in U...
August 01, 2017
Kaeser & Blair hosted its top sales leaders last week in Clearwater, Florida, for the distributor's annual Sales Leader Summit. On May 17-20, Batavia, Ohio-based distributor Kaeser & Blair (PPAI 103148) hosted its top sales volume dealers at the Clearwater Beach Hilton Resort in Clearwater, Florida, for its annual Sales Leader Summit. The event included activities in and around Clearwater as well as private meetings with 14 industry suppliers. The Summit ended with a banquet celeb...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is bringing a distinguished lineup of speakers to Newport Beach, California, on September 18-20--among them attorney and Prop 65 expert Trenton Norris. For industry businesses that have an e-commerce presence, produce a catalog or do business in California, the Summit will deliver an invaluable look at the new regulations that go into effect in August 2018. Norris, an attorney with Arnold & Porter/Kaye Scholer, specializes in complex scien...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett (center) met with several attendees of the AzPPA education day, among them (from left) Sarah Weber, Logomark; Mallory Hawkins and Stephanie Welch, HP2 Promotions; and Krysta Paffrath, Southwest Media Solutions. PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett joined the Arizona Promotional Products Association’s (AzPPA) education day on May 18 to speak on Millennials and the Millennial market. The event was held at ...
August 01, 2017
More than the average trade show, Expo East, June 12-14 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, provides an opportunity to take part in several education and networking events. During the Power Luncheon on Monday, June 12, technology strategist Crystal Washington will show attendees how to use technology for prospecting, gaining referrals and inbound marketing. Expo East’s education schedule also includes 30 sessions across seven tracks—Strategies & Solutions, C...
August 01, 2017
The Vernon Company named BIC Graphic its 2016 Supplier of the Year at the Newton, Iowa, distributor’s annual National Sales Meeting last month. The Supplier of the Year Award is given annually to the industry supplier that provides the best overall service to The Vernon Company and its customers. “This award is about partnership, and BIC Graphic is the true meaning of a partner,” says Vicki Palm, Vernon's director of marketing. “From the top down, they give every effort to support The Vernon ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has named Teresa Moisant, MAS, owner and president of Moisant Promotional Products, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the 2017 PPAI Woman of Achievement. “It is such a privilege to receive this honor,” says Moisant. “I am proud to walk in the footsteps of the amazing women who have been honored before me. The environment of sharing and helping that has been cultivated within the promotional products industry allows me to assist so many. I truly believe the more people you help to...
August 01, 2017
Staples, Inc. has announced financial results for its first quarter, which ended April 29. Total sales for the company, which participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945), were $4.1 billion in the quarter, a five-percent decrease compared to first quarter 2016. On a GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) basis, Staples reported net income of $105 million in the quarter. Its first quarter 2017 results from continuing opera...
August 01, 2017
Keene, New Hampshire-based supplier Douglas Company, Inc. (PPAI 233600), in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), has issued a voluntary recall for plush toys whose plastic eyes may detach and pose a choking hazard. Three plush toy models, Oliver™ the Bear, Chewie™ the English Bulldog, and Charlotte™ the Fox, are involved in the recall. Douglas has received two reports of the eyes detaching or loosening, although no known injuries due to the issue have been reported....
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series this summer explores video marketing campaigns, creative and persuasive ad strategies and more in the coming months. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in May, June and July include: How To Create A Video Marketing Campaign That Will Drive Traffic, Generate Leads And Beat The Pants Off Your Competitors May 24, 1 pm CT Legislation A...
August 01, 2017
Distributor The Sourcing Team (PPAI 188709), based in Wallington, Surrey, UK, has been awarded the first Sustainable Leaders Award by EcoVadis in recognition of sustainable excellence in the industry. The award is for Best CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) performance in wholesale/tertiary services. EcoVadis provides sustainability ratings and risk management tools for global supply chains. Its Sustainable Leaders Awards were assigned to small and medium-sized companies that have obtaine...
August 01, 2017
Nichole Stella, president and chief revenue officer of Promo Marketing, has joined M. Rubin & Sons as executive vice president, corporate strategy and development, and will oversee the strategic vision across the various divisions of the company, including industry supplier Blue Generation (PPAI 174655). Stella has spent the past 12 years at NAPCO Media, parent company of the Promo Marketing Media Group, transforming the brands under her leadership in all areas, including developing and l...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Showdown Displays (PPAI 254687), headquartered in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, has been acquired by Pfingsten Partners, L.L.C., a Chicago, Illinois-based private equity firm, as part of a recapitalization event. The acquisition was completed on May 1. Showdown Displays CEO John Bruellman told PPB Newslink the move positions the company for future growth, but the company’s strategy and team remains in place and distributors should not expect any changes. “We are thrilled to be joini...
August 01, 2017
New York City-based distributor Axis Promotions (PPAI 159158) has made a strategic investment in BLANK2BRANDED, a distributor in Montville, New Jersey. “Our decision is born out of the desire to be bigger, better and stronger for our clients and our team,” says Marcia Tarnoff, president and CEO of BLANK2BRANDED, which is a certified woman-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). “Equally important to this decision is the opportunity to learn and be mentored ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Rymax Marketing Services, Inc. (PPAI 262551) has entered an exclusive partnership with Yale Locks & Hardware, bringing the worldwide hardware company into the premium incentives industry. “When we decided to enter the premium incentive space, we wanted a partner that would maximize our exposure and distribution while appropriately representing us as a brand,” says Mark Fish, director, sales and business development, Yale Locks & Hardware. “We chose Rymax for their reputation ...
August 01, 2017
At its annual meeting earlier this month, the Premier Group, an alliance of suppliers and distributors, elected Paula Shulman, CAS, vice president of sales at supplier Prime Line, chair of the board of directors, and announced the recipients of the group’s awards program. Shulman, a past president of the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) and current trustee of the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF), began her term at the conclusion of the meeting, he...
August 01, 2017
The Ohio Promotional Professionals Association (OPPA), the Promotional Products Association of Florida (PPAF) and the Tri-State Promotional Professionals Association (TSPPA) have joined the redesigned SAGE Affiliate Program. The Affiliate Program is designed to give regional associations in the promotional products industry and their members special benefits from SAGE through access to business management products and services for members and the association. “We are continually evaluating ou...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is bringing a distinguished lineup of speakers to Newport Beach, California, on September 18-20, among them attorney and Prop 65 expert Tiffany M. Ikeda. For industry businesses that have an e-commerce presence, produce a catalog or do business in California, Summit will deliver an invaluable look at the new regulations that go into effect in August 2018. Ikeda, an attorney with Arnold & Porter/Kaye Scholer, focuses on class action lit...
August 01, 2017
Oklahoma state representatives have proposed a host of spending cuts that include promotional products as a target. While PPAI is in favor of balanced budgets and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars, promotional products businesses and their clients could be adversely affected if Oklahoma passes a bill eliminating any opportunity for the state to use promotional products in a powerful and effective manner. Research shows that promotional products educate, recruit, highlight safety awarene...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index points to healthy job growth in the coming months. Following an increase in March, the index ticked up sharply in April and now stands at 132.64, up from 131.58 in March. April’s reading is up 4.1 percent over where the index stood one year ago. “The Employment Trends Index has been expanding rapidly in 2017, suggesting that robust job growth will continue into the summer,” says Gad Levanon, The Conference Board’s chief economist, North America....
August 01, 2017
Supplier Fey Industries has been awarded QCA Accreditation by the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), an independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping promotional product industry companies provide safe products. Edgerton, Minnesota-based Fey Industries’ brands include Fey Line, Magna-Tel by Fey, Mi Line by Fey and Reflectix by Fey. QCA accredited companies endorse a self-certification, complete a rigorous self-assessment, and then submit their headquarters a...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes Leslie Roark, CAS, president of distributor member PromoPros headquartered in Spring, Texas, as the May PPB Volunteer of the Month. Those selected for the honor have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, advisory group, work group or task force on which they serve. Roark serves on PPAI’s North American Leadership Conference Work Group, the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference Work Group and the Awards & Recognition Committ...
August 01, 2017
Expo East is bringing an extensive education schedule to Atlantic City this June, with numerous professional development opportunities available on and off the show floor. And new to Expo East this year, Connections Corner is a series of interactive roundtable discussions held on Monday, June 12. Connections Corner is a casual, unique networking opportunity that not only informs, engages and empowers attendees, but expands their professional circle as well. Held on level four in the 412 Foyer...
August 01, 2017
The PPAI webinars scheduled for the coming months explore issues on Capitol Hill, video marketing, promotional products’ regulatory environment and more. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in May, June and July include: Capitol Hill Critical Issues For The Promotional Products Industry May 17, 1 pm CT How To Create A Video Marketing Campaign That Will D...
August 01, 2017
(Clockwise from top left) Nancy Jolly, vice president of sales at In Stepp Marketing; Sharon Williams, national sales manager at Hirsch Gifts; Brenda Angelini, owner of Proforma Angelini + Diamond, Lara Gryder, CAS, strategic account manager for Imagen Brands, with the awards HPPA presented to them and their companies. The Houston Promotional Products Association (HPPA) has had a busy year, with the presentation of its 2016 awards at a March meeting of the regional association, and its annua...
August 01, 2017
Members of the Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association (PAPPA) went on a geocaching adventure at the Bear Creek Mountain Resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania, on April 21, using GPS devices to search for hiking-related promotional products. “We had a great response from 15 product sponsors, and the 25 attendees had a great time,” says Andy Shuman, general manager of Rockland Embroidery and co-chair of the event. Attendees divided into small groups and headed out to locate products hidd...
August 01, 2017
Supplier HandStands PROMO (PPAI 111285) has been acquired from current owners Energizer Holdings, Inc., by HandStands Products Holdings, LLC, a group led by longtime former executives of HandStands Rodd Steuart, Jason Fogg and Chris Anderson. Steuart previously served as CFO and COO of Handstands prior to its July 2016 sale to Energizer and will serve as CEO. He says, “This is an exciting day for a great company, its customers and partners. HandStands PROMO has been an innovator and trendset...
August 01, 2017
Industry suppliers Alpi International (PPAI 111221) and BEL Promo (PPAI 362224) have lent their support to professional development and the success of the promotional products industry through higher education with pledges to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) Tomorrow Fund. Alpi International has pledged $10,000 to the fund over 10 years and BEL Promo has pledged $6,000 over six years. The Tomorrow Fund was created 16 years ago as a way to ensure ongoing funding and support...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Gildan Activewear has released financial results for the quarter ending April 2 and reconfirmed its full-year guidance for 2017. The Montreal, Quebec-based company reported sales of $665.4 million in the first quarter, a 12.2-percent increase compared to the same period in 2016. Gildan attributes the quarter’s performance to acquisitions and organic growth. Growth in its sales and operating margin produced a 39-percent increase in its adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) compar...
August 01, 2017
Delta Apparel, Inc. (PPAI 188431) reports net income of $4.5 million in its fiscal 2017 second quarter, which ended April 2017, up 33 percent from second quarter 2016. Operating profit for the quarter was $7.5 million, or 7.2 percent of sales, versus $5.9 million, or 5.4 percent of sales, during the same period last year. Robert W. Humphreys, Delta Apparel, Inc.’s chairman and chief executive officer, says, “Our fiscal 2017 second quarter was productive and we completed a number of key initia...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Artcraft Promotional Concepts (PPAI 101781), headquartered in Moorestown, New Jersey, has acquired Somerville, New Jersey-based distributor Corporate Marketing, Inc. (PPAI 603904). Established in 1989 by Leona and Gary Gawreluk, Corporate Marketing provides promotional marketing services to businesses. These services include the development, design, sourcing and distribution of promotional products, awards, incentives, business gifts and imprinted apparel. The Corporate Marketing...
August 01, 2017
Indicators point toward continued growth for most promotional products industry companies through 2017, but looking ahead to 2018, the PPAI/ITR Economics’ first quarter 2017 Market Outlook Report expects growth to slow down as the new year progresses. The economic research and consulting firm’s supplier member index annual growth rate slipped below zero during first-quarter 2017, in line with ITR Economics’ forecasts for the industry segment. ITR’s forecast, which extends to 2019, expects 4.1...
August 01, 2017
Visiting before dinner are (from left) Kathy Burke, Above and Beyond Incentives; Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, CE Competitive Edge, LLC; D’Anna Zimmer, CAS, BAG MAKERS, Inc.; and Tia Walker, MAS, BrandAlliance, Inc. The PPAI Board, staff directors and executives met at the Omni Mandalay Hotel in Irving, Texas, on Monday for a scheduled strategic plan discussion facilitated by board member Larry Cohen, president of Axis Promotions, and Ashley Wilemon and Amy Blackburn, both of Saxum, PPAI’s public r...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett was on the road last week, traveling to Melbourne, Florida, to speak at a meeting of the American Advertising Federation’s Space Coast Chapter. The event was attended by advertising, sales and communications professionals working within Florida’s Space Coast region, and Barnett spoke to them on addressing the nuances of the Millennial market. In his presentation, Barnett gave examples of brands that uniquely stand out among Millen...
August 01, 2017
The 2017 PPAI North American Leadership Conference (NALC) is bringing industry leaders from across the country together in Austin, Texas, for a high-powered speaker lineup. Running August 13-15 at the Four Seasons Hotel, the three-day event offers attendees opportunities to connect with and learn from innovators and thought leaders drawn from a variety of fields and backgrounds. As part of its distinguished speaker lineup, NALC welcomes business strategist and author Seth Kahan to share his p...
August 01, 2017
In March and April, five industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) or Certified Advertising Specialistl (CAS) industry certifications. They join an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to their pr...
August 01, 2017
PAPPA members learn more about S & S Activewear and its operations during their tour of the supplier's Robbinsville, New Jersey, facility. On April 20, S & S Activewear hosted visitors from the Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association (PAPPA) for a factory tour at its Robbinsville, New Jersey, facility. The supplier, headquartered in Bolingbrook, Illinois, provided attendees with bags of samples, and bookended their visit with breakfast and lunch. “The S & S staff we...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands has launched a multiyear initiative to increase investment for growth, reduce costs and drive cash flow for the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company which participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138). The initiative is expected to drive the company’s “Sell More, Spend Less, Generate Cash” business strategy. By 2020, Project Booster is expected to generate approximately $300 million of incremental annual net cash from operations...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands has announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 results, highlighting its record net sales, operating profit and diluted earnings per share (EPS), and record annual operating cash flow of $606 million. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company, which participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138), has also announced initial financial guidance for 2017, forecasting net sales growth in the high single-digits, record cash flow, and f...
August 01, 2017
The Hong Kong Trade Development Council’s (HKTDC) 32nd annual Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair concluded Sunday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Also wrapping up on April 30 was the concurrent 12th annual Hong Kong International Printing & Packaging Fair, held at the AsiaWorld-Expo. Together, the two shows attracted 62,000 attendees from 138 countries and regions—nearly 47,000 people attended the Gifts & Premium Fair, while more than 15,000 visited the Printing & ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Admints & Zagabor (PPAI 227425), a division of Hit Promotional Products (PPAI 113910), and Perfetti Van Melle, the parent company of the Mentos brand, recently formed an exclusive partnership to launch Mentos brand mints into the promotional products industry. “We are very excited to introduce the No. 1 mint brand in the world to the promotional products industry in the United States,” says Brett Hersh, president of Admints & Zagabor. “This will allow the tens of thousands of...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has released its analysis on how behavioral economics can be applied to the incentive, rewards and recognition (IRR) field in the report, “Using Behavioral Economics Insights in Incentives, Rewards, and Recognition: A Nudge Guide.” Behavioral economics combines traditional economics, social psychology, neuroscience and other disciplines to identify the motivations behind people’s actions. “Behavioral economics gets to the heart of why people make specif...
August 01, 2017
The PPAI webinars scheduled for May and June include import/export compliance best practices, the latest from Capitol Hill and more. Upcoming webinars in May and June include: Creating a Functional Import and Export Manual May 10, 1 pm CST Capitol Hill Critical Issues For The Promotional Products Industry May 17, 1 pm CST How To Create A Video Marketing Campaign That Will Drive Traffic, Generate Leads And Beat The Pants Off Your Competitors May 24, 1 pm CST Legislation And Agen...
August 01, 2017
Sixty industry companies have earned a spot on this year’s list of PPB Greatest Companies To Work For. Over the past six years the program has been one of PPB’s most popular editorial recognition programs drawing nominations from PPAI member companies in all categories and sizes. However, this year, the program was reworked to use employee ratings as the primary selection criteria. Specifically, full-time employees at each nominated company were required to complete a confidential 13-question on...
August 01, 2017
On April 29, President Trump reached his 100th day in office. Since President Franklin Roosevelt, a first-term president’s first 100 days in office have been used as a yardstick to measure successes and accomplishments, as the president’s power and influence has been historically at its greatest during its opening months. President Trump’s first 100 days included several executive orders, proposals and other measures that will affect businesses of all sizes. For most businesses, the most prom...
August 01, 2017
Mobile captured a record 51 percent of the $72.5 billion marketers spent on U.S. internet advertising in 2016. In its latest Internet Advertising Revenue Report, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) notes that U.S. internet advertising spending was up 22 percent from 2015, while mobile advertising’s $36.6 billion in 2016 increased 77 percent over the previous year. “Mobile fueled the internet economy in 2016, with advertisers showing their confidence in digital to achieve their marketing ...
August 01, 2017
Bankers sales partners visit Pythian Castle while in Springfield for the distributor's national sales meeting. Distributor Bankers Advertising Company (PPAI 101972), headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, brought its sales partners and supplier representatives together in Springfield, Missouri, in April for its 2017 Gathering of the Stars National Sales Meeting. The meeting, built around the theme “The Road Ahead”—Springfield is the birthplace of Route 66—began with a reception and dinner for ...
August 01, 2017
Fran Ford (second from left) and Bob McLean (right) with Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) (second from right) and Joseph Boddicker, tax counsel and legislative assistant. This past week was one of establishing and strengthening vital connections all across the industry and beyond as PPAI hosted more than 80 volunteer leaders and staff in Washington, D.C., for the eighth annual Legislative Education And Action Day (L.E.A.D.) and celebrated the positive power of promotional products with the annual Pro...
August 01, 2017
In April, PPAI staff collected food and money to assist local food pantry Irving Cares. The Association has supported Irving Cares since 2003 and in that time has donated more than 42,000 pounds of goods to benefit hungry families in the community. During this spring’s drive, PPAI employees contributed 1,010 pounds of food and paper goods—including 2,030 rolls of toilet paper, a most-needed item—and $875 in cash. The PPAI Community Services Committee, an internal group that coordinates the As...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s Get In Touch!® campaign and its recently launched video ad has drawn the attention of marketing media, with MediaPost publishing a profile of the campaign and its mission. The Get In Touch! campaign was created to increase awareness and enhance the perception of the promotional products industry, as well as communicate the benefits of working with promotional consultants. The overall goal of the campaign is to direct a larger share of advertising dollars to the industry. The Get In...
August 01, 2017
Digital technology is a powerful tool that can help make a business more productive and profitable, and the promotional products industry’s techies are the trendsetters and visionaries who keep it innovating. The Industry Collaborator Award, one of the PPAI Technology Awards, won jointly in 2016 by David Shultz, DistributorCentral’s vice president of operations, and Chris Schlemmer, its IT director, celebrates technological achievement by PPAI member companies that brings the industry closer tog...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Eagle Promotions (PPAI 279851) has been recognized by the Las Vegas Business Press in the first State of Nevada Innovation Awards for its innovation efforts in manufacturing and in conservation and sustainability. The Las Vegas, Nevada-based company has placed innovation at the forefront of its business model to stay ahead of industry trends for growth and social responsibility. Eagle Promotions CEO Sean Ono says, “We love to push the boundaries of the screen printing industry b...
August 01, 2017
California Kenny Ved Bob Levitt Donte Shannon Nevada Fran Ford Alabama Melanie Perry Loren Richardson NWPMA Tom Goos, MAS Daniel Roso Dan Reading Mark Shinn, MAS Dani Smith Lee Strom, CAS Illinois Bob Notter Dawn Olds Wisconsin Gary Slavonic Tennessee Bill Petrie David E. Tate Ohio John Andersen Eric Ekstrand Mitch Rhodus Texas Dana Floyd, MAS Nancy Jolly Steven Meyer D'Anna Zimmer, CAS UMAPP Scott Hareid Devin Martin Brad Ness, MAS Perry...
August 01, 2017
Visiting with Virginia Lenahan are, from left, George Jackson, Chuck Manchion and Bruce Korn. Capitol Hill was undoubtedly one of the busiest places on earth Wednesday as lawmakers examined the new tax plan, hammered out a budget-funding extension and took time to meet with nearly 80 member volunteers and staff in town for PPAI’s Legislative Education And Action Day (L.E.A.D.). Delegations from 20 states and five regional associations held dozens of meetings Wednesday with elected officia...
August 01, 2017
As reported in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert on Wednesday, the board of directors for American Solutions for Business (PPAI 101656) has named Justin Zavadil president of the Glenwood, Minnesota, distributor, effective immediately. In his time with the company, Zavadil has served as a sales representative, director of vendor relations, vice president of sales, and most recently executive vice president. “I’m extremely optimistic about the future of this company,” says Zavadil. “I’m please...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Board Chair Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, and PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE (right), presented Sen. Gery Peters with the Association's Legislator of the Year award. PPAI recognized Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) as its 2017 Legislator of the Year today as part of the eighth annual PPAI Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.). The PPAI Legislator of the Year Award recognizes members of Congress who have shown a commitment to small-business interests and success, a willingness ...
August 01, 2017
Attendees at Hirsch Gift's open house in celebration of PPW! Week included local distributors, charity representatives and staff members from the offices of Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. John Culberson and Texas State Rep. Gene Wu. The fifth annual Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW! Week) is under way at companies and associations across the industry. PPW! Week, which began Monday and wraps up on Friday, is aimed at raising awareness of promotional products’ role in advertising and marketing, and d...
August 01, 2017
The PPAI webinars scheduled for May include details on invigorating business, import/export compliance, the latest from Capitol Hill and more. Upcoming webinars in May include: How Do I Get My Business Unstuck? May 3, 1 pm CST Creating A Functional Import And Export Manual May 10, 1 pm CST Capitol Hill Critical Issues For The Promotional Products Industry May 17, 1 pm CST How To Create A Video Marketing Campaign That Will Drive Traffic, Generate Leads And Beat The Pants Off You...
August 01, 2017
In celebration of Earth Day, Hanes has partnered with charity Give Back Box in a program to encourage consumers to “Give Back for Good” by reducing waste, giving their old clothes new life and helping those in need. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138). Give Back Box is an online service that coordinates the shipping of gently used outerwear and shoe donations, along with other household items, to local charities across the Uni...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has launched its first broadcast ad for the Get In Touch!® campaign for use in digital, social, live event and broadcast media. The spot debuted on social media in conjunction with Promotional Products Work! Week, which runs through Friday, and will expand in the fall to include multiple platforms and will be supported by live event partnerships with Advertising Week, the American Marketing Association and the Public Relations Society of America. “As one of, if not the most effective...
August 01, 2017
More than 80 PPAI volunteers and staff arrive in Washington, D.C., today to take part in more than 250 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs about the effectiveness of promotional products and the strength of the industry in the U.S. This is the eighth year for PPAI’s Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.), one of the Association’s most powerful and influential efforts to educate legislators about the $21 billion promotional products industry. The meetings begin on Wednesda...
August 01, 2017
PPAChicago members attend a factory tour the regional association organized in celebration of Promotional Products Work! Week. Industry professionals, companies and regional associations are demonstrating the power of promotional products during Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW! Week), which began Monday and wraps up on Friday. PPW! Week, PPAI’s annual five-day international event, is aimed at raising awareness of promotional products’ role in advertising and marketing, and delivers the ...
August 01, 2017
Digital technology is a powerful tool that can help make a business more productive and profitable, and the promotional products industry’s techies are the trendsetters and visionaries who keep it innovating. The Industry Collaborator Award, one of the PPAI Technology Awards, won in 2016 by Chris Schlemmer, DistributorCentral’s IT director, celebrates technological achievement by PPAI member companies that brings the industry closer together to achieve greater efficiency or collaboration PPB ...
August 01, 2017
As first reported Friday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, distributor NewClients Promotional Marketing (PPAI 107225), headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, has acquired distributor EBSCO Creative Concepts (PPAI 104781), a division of EBSCO Industries. "We are excited to welcome EBSCO Creative Concepts and their 28 associates into the NewClients family," says Jeff Hall, executive vice president and principal at NewClients. "ECC has a tremendous following of associates and clients. NewCli...
August 01, 2017
Jornik Manufacturing Corp. (PPAI 111065) has announced that the Stamford, Connecticut-based supplier’s ownership is transitioning from founders Jacquie and Peter Herz to their daughter Jordie Freedman, the company’s president, and their son-in-law Rory Freedman, its treasurer and secretary. “Jordie has been working with us since 1999. She has been living and breathing this promotional product industry her whole life,“ says Jacquie Herz. “Jordie and her husband Rory are exceptionally well equi...
August 01, 2017
Buoyed primarily by upticks in mining and manufacturing, U.S. industrial production is expected to overtake 2016’s numbers in 2017 reports economic research and consulting firm ITR Economics in the April 2017 edition of The ITR Advisor. ITR also notes that other indicators, including the U.S. Purchasing Managers Index, U.S. corporate profits and the U.S. Total Industry Capacity Utilization Rate, also point to growth in the economy this year. Economic growth in 2016 was driven in large part by...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit will be held September 18-20 in Newport Beach, California. PPAI is offering discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, but they are filling up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Facilitated by industr...
August 01, 2017
Most consumers have the same expectations from a small business’s website as they do of a site belonging to a larger company. And what will make or break their impressions of a business are up-to-date and accurate information, and good and mobile-friendly design says the “Small Business Consumer Expectations Report” from Waltham, Massachusetts, distributor Vistaprint (PPAI 565755). Vistaprint surveyed 1,800 U.S. adults on what they’re looking for from a business’s website. More than half, 50....
August 01, 2017
American Solutions for Business (PPAI 101656) is hosting an open house today to introduce its new 8,000-square-foot office in Las Colinas, Texas. The office will house office personnel and eight of the Glenwood, Minnesota, distributor’s sales associates. Staff from Mojo Media Labs, an ASB business partner and inbound marketing and sales agency that combines scientific inbound strategy with creative content marketing, will share the leased space. The 10th-floor facility also features an idea c...
August 01, 2017
Rosalind (Ros) Fraser Plummer, MAS, vice president of supplier Clearmount Plastics Limited in Toronto, Canada, passed away unexpectedly on April 15 while on vacation with her husband, David. She was 58. Plummer was born in Scotland and emigrated with her family to Canada as a child. She and her husband, David, purchased Clearmount in 1989 and together built a successful family business with a dedicated team of employees. Plummer oversaw operations, human resources and marketing for the compan...
August 01, 2017
Proforma's Million Dollar Club has grown to 171 members. Proforma has announced that its Million Dollar Club, celebrating million-dollar or multimillion-dollar sales, has grown to 171 members, a record for the Cleveland, Ohio-based distributor. The company inducted 34 new members at an April at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort in Tucson, Arizona. “One of the greatest honors for us at Proforma is celebrating the accomplishments of our Million and Multi-Million Dollar Club owners and s...
August 01, 2017
PPAI staff will be thanking the members they visit during Promotional Products Work! Week with a selection of PPAI-branded products. Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW! Week), an industry-wide celebration of promotional products and the value they create, takes place next week, and in celebration PPAI staff are hitting the road to connect with and learn about industry businesses in North Texas. On Tuesday and Wednesday, PPAI staff members will travel to cities across the DFW area to mee...
August 01, 2017
The webinars PPAI has scheduled for April and May include details on a new toy safety standard, business best practices, import/export compliance and more. Upcoming webinars in April and May include: Exploring The New Toy Safety Standard ASTM F963-16 April 26, 1 pm CST How Do I Get My Business Unstuck? May 3, 1 pm CST Creating A Functional Import And Export Manual May 10, 1 pm CST Capitol Hill Critical Issues For The Promotional Products Industry May 17, 1 pm CST How To Cre...
August 01, 2017
PPAI's Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) takes the promotional products industry’s message to Capitol Hill next week, and industry members around the country can join in sharing their thoughts through the L.E.A.D. Virtual Fly-In. Running April 26-27, more than 80 industry professionals will be in Washington, D.C. to speak with members of Congress about the effectiveness of promotional products and the strength of the industry in the U.S. Beginning April 24, industry members can ...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit will be held September 18-20 in Newport Beach, California. PPAI is offering discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, but they are filling up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Facilitated by industr...
August 01, 2017
Vernon Director of Sales Sharla Elscott, MAS, presents Jon Smith with the distributor's Account Executive of the Year Award. The Vernon Company named Jon Smith its 2016 Vernon Account Executive of the Year Award at the Newton, Iowa, distributor’s annual National Sales Meeting. Held at the Renaissance Indian Wells in Indian Wells, California, on April 10-12, the event brought together nearly 100 of the Newton, Iowa, distributor’s account executives and more than 70 of its supplier partners. ...
August 01, 2017
UK-based distributor Outstanding Branding (PPAI 678649) has become a sponsor of PwC’s Ride the Nation Cycling Challenge taking place next month. The challenge, which began in 2015, raised over $150,000 for local charities with more than 700 PwCe employees cycling over 2,700 miles across the United Kingdom, from Aberdeen to Plymouth and the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland. This year the distributor will sponsor each rider’s bike jerseys, which will not only carry the PwC and Outstanding B...
August 01, 2017
The industry’s regional associations have big things in store for Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW! Week). Running April 24-28, PPW! Week is an industry-wide celebration of promotional products and the value they create. And alongside industry professionals and businesses, the regional associations have lined up tours, education opportunities, community outreach initiatives and more to celebrate and increase awareness about promotional products and their effectiveness as an advertising mediu...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands has released its 2016 environmental performance data on energy use, carbon dioxide emissions, water use, renewable energy and landfill diversion. Compared with its 2007 baseline, the company, which participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138), reduced its energy use by 16 percent, carbon emissions by 16 percent and water use by 25 percent. Hanes also shifted 25 percent of the energy the company uses to renewable sources and diverted 84 pe...
August 01, 2017
Just ahead of Earth Day on April 22, Staples, Inc. has released the results of its latest Sustainability Survey. The company, which participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945), found that more than 90 percent of businesses practice some form of eco-friendly activity regularly, including recycling, making energy-efficient choices, and/or shopping for more eco-friendly products. “Making daily green choices is not a trend, it is a r...
August 01, 2017
PPAI affinity partner Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc. has rebranded its Global Solutions segment to Ascent Global Logistics. The company provides professional domestic freight management, international freight forwarding and retail consolidation. It will remain a Roadrunner entity, operating independently as a separate brand. “We are extremely excited to announce the rebrand of Roadrunner Global Solutions to Ascent Global Logistics,” says William Goodgion, president of Ascent Global L...
August 01, 2017
The Vernon Company (PPAI 109323) hosted its annual national sales meeting, Vernon University, April 10-12 at Renaissance Indian Wells in Indian Wells, California. The three-day event brought together nearly 100 of the Newton, Iowa, distributor’s account executives and more than 70 of its supplier partners. “Vernon’s National Sales Meeting could have been described using one word—H-O-T,” says Dave Regan, vice president of sales and marketing for The Vernon Company. “The weather was hot, and th...
August 01, 2017
The webinars PPAI has scheduled for April and May include the results of the Association’s 2017 Consumer Study, details on a new toy safety standard and more. Upcoming webinars in April and May include: Mapping Out The Modern Consumer: Results From The 2017 Consumer Study April 19, 1 pm CST Exploring The New Toy Safety Standard ASTM F963-16 April 26, 1 pm CST How Do I Get My Business Unstuck? May 3, 1 pm CST Creating A Functional Import And Export Manual May 10, 1 pm CST Ca...
August 01, 2017
Next week, PPAI's Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) takes the promotional products industry’s message to Capitol Hill. Running April 26-27, more than 80 industry professionals will speak with members of Congress about the effectiveness of promotional products and the strength of the industry in the U.S. Tax reform will be a key element of the L.E.A.D. discussions, as Congress is expected to address the issue soon, and the introduction of a border adjustment tax (BAT) may be an i...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit will be held September 18-20 in Newport Beach, California. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Faci...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands has released its preliminary first-quarter 2017 results, expecting net sales of approximately $1.38 billion. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina, company, which participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138), also announced that Chief Financial Officer Richard D. Moss will retire at the end of the year, and the company has initiated an internal and external search for his successor. “We’re off to a strong start in 2017, and we are diligent...
August 01, 2017
TSC Apparel (PPAI 174523) has opened a new warehouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The supplier, which is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, also has warehouse locations in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles and Denver. “Moving to a larger warehouse in Philadelphia allows us to bring our exceptional service into the Philly area, providing customers with an all-around great wholesale apparel shopping experience,” says Dan Kessler, vice president of operations. “Our previous warehouse w...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index for March points to healthy job growth in the months ahead. After a strong uptick in February to 131.09, the index grew further in March to 131.43, a 4.3 percent increase over where the index stood one year ago. “The Employment Trends Index continued to expand in March, suggesting that solid job growth will continue through the spring,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “The surprisingly weak job growth in...
August 01, 2017
The latest SBLC Alert from the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) gives an update on where things stand ahead of this month’s federal budget deal. Federal Budget Deadline Fast Approaching Both chambers of Congress have adjourned for a two-week recess. When they return on April 25 they will have just four working days to strike a deal to keep the government open past April 28. So how did we get here? Over the past decade, Congress has routinely struggled to reach agreements on bud...
August 01, 2017
Buoyed by optimism about their revenue growth, almost half of small businesses expect to spend more on marketing and advertising in 2017. B2B ratings and review firm Clutch found 59 percent of owners are predicting revenue growth this year, and 49 percent plan on upping their digital marketing spend. Clutch’s 2017 Small Business Digital Marketing Survey included 350 small business owners and managers, and defined a small business as one with fewer than 500 employees. The respondents serve as ...
August 01, 2017
Roy Spence, founder and chairman of GSD&M Advertising, is NALC 2017's opening general session speaker. Follow him on Twitter @RoySpence Roy Spence, founder and chairman of GSD&M Advertising, and CEO of the Purpose Institute, will be the opening general session speaker at the PPAI 2017 North American Leadership Conference (NALC) August 13-15, at the Four Season Hotel in Austin, Texas. Spence’s presentation focuses on strategic foresight, currently a hot topic in the business world....
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar schedule for April and May includes a look at creating client loyalty, findings from the Association’s 2017 Consumer Study and other topics relevant to promotional products industry practitioners and their businesses. Upcoming webinars in April and May include: Best of Expo 2017: Creating Client Loyalty April 14, 1 pm CST Mapping Out The Modern Consumer: Results From The 2017 Consumer Study April 19, 1 pm CST Exploring The New Toy Safety Standard ASTM F963-16 April ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI's Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) takes the promotional products industry's message to Capitol Hill on April 26-27 to educate members of Congress about the effectiveness of promotional products and the strength of the industry. Tax reform will also be a key element of those discussions, as Congress is expected to address the issue soon, and the introduction of a border adjustment tax (BAT) may be an important element of those reforms. Designed as a "pay-for" solution to c...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit will be held September 18-20 in Newport Beach, California. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Faci...
August 01, 2017
MiPPA President-Elect, Jane Mitchell, MAS, served as one of L.E.A.D. Lansing's morning speakers. The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) hosted a Legislative Education And Action Day (L.E.A.D.) in the state’s capital of Lansing on March 30. The meeting featured a breakfast for state legislators and their staff in the Mackinac Room in the Anderson House of Representatives Building. The event drew 38 state representatives, senators and their staff members. MiPPA President...
August 01, 2017
Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664) has delivered a concrete gesture of support for professional development and the success of the promotional products industry through higher education with a pledge of $50,000 to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) Tomorrow Fund. St. Louis-based Facilisgroup is a management consulting and technology services group for promotional products distributors. The Tomorrow Fund was created 16 years ago as a means to ensure ongoing funding and support of PPE...
August 01, 2017
The latest SBLC Alert from the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) provides an update on the status of healthcare and tax reform. Healthcare Reform – What The Heck Is Going On? Despite ongoing discussions taking place at the White House and on the Hill, many experts have been predicting that any chance for healthcare reform this year is over and that Congress and the President have moved on to tax reform. However, our crystal ball tells us that healthcare reform may not be totally d...
August 01, 2017
The St Regis Group (PPAI 230188) is relocating its U.S. headquarters to a new state of-the-art facility in Chicago, Illinois. The purchase of the 180,000-square-foot facility will be finalized this week and will centralize production, warehousing and administration under one roof. The supplier attributes the move to growth over the past decade that has pushed its needs beyond its current facilities. Located near O’Hare International Airport, the new location will allow it to streamline its op...
August 01, 2017
Expo East is bringing an extensive education schedule to Atlantic City this June, with numerous professional development opportunities available on and off the show floor. And new to Expo East this year, Connections Corner is a series of interactive roundtable discussions held on Monday, June 12. Connections Corner is a casual, unique networking opportunity that not only informs, engages and empowers attendees, but expands their professional circle as well. Held on level four in the 412 Foyer...
August 01, 2017
Running April 24-28, Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW! Week) kicks off this month for an industry-wide celebration of promotional products and the value they create. Now in its fifth year, PPW! Week is tapping into the successful and growing Get In Touch!™ campaign, the industry's first-of-its-kind, multiyear, multimillion-dollar branding initiative targeted directly to promotional products buyers. The Get In Touch! campaign is designed to increase awareness and enhance the overall perceptio...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s lineup of upcoming webinars include close looks at rules and risk in shipping electronics, creating client loyalty, using promotional products to build business, and more. Upcoming webinars in April and May include: Technology: Know The Rules And Dangers When Shipping Electronics 2017 April 12, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Creating Client Loyalty April 14, 1 pm CST Mapping Out The Modern Consumer: Results From The 2017 Consumer Study April 19, 1 pm CST Exploring The New T...
August 01, 2017
PPAI's Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) will deliver the promotional products industry's message to Capitol Hill on April 26-27 and tax reform will factor as a key tenant in their discussions. Congress is expected to address tax reform soon, and an important element of those reforms could be the introduction of a border adjustment tax (BAT). Designed as a "pay-for" solution to cut income tax rates, the BAT would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports—including promotional produ...
August 01, 2017
Renewals are coming due for the inaugural participants in PPAI’s Product Safety Awareness (PSA) Program, an initiative that has fostered an industry-wide commitment and culture where companies are not only aware of product safety but engaged in the discussion. Introduced during The PPAI Expo 2014 General Session and effective as of Expo East 2015, the PSA program requires every company wanting to gain access to the PPAI marketplace—as a sponsor, advertiser, trade-show exhibitor, etc.—regardle...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit will be held September 18-20 in Newport Beach, California. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Faci...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Corporate Imaging Concepts (PPAI 221047) has named Bob Herzog as its new CEO, as first announced Wednesday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert. Current CEO and company founder Brian Abrams is stepping down from the role but will remain highly involved in the Northbrook, Illinois, company as executive chairman. Herzog brings considerable industry management experience to the position. He has served as CEO of supplier Bullet and most recently as COO of supplier Polyconcept North A...
August 01, 2017
TSC Apparel (PPAI 174523) has formed an exclusive partnership with Los Angeles Apparel, a brand founded by Dov Charney, former American Apparel CEO and founder. “We’re thrilled for the opportunity to partner with TSC—we will walk through walls to get the customer what they need, when they need it,” said Charney in a TSC release. The new line brings back the well-known industry basics that gained Charney nationwide success, and future plans will offer an expanded line of products with innov...
August 01, 2017
HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) has broken ground on a new, state-of-the-art operational headquarters building in Sterling, Illinois. The $19 million project, set for completion in May 2018, will create 157,000 square feet of office and warehouse space, and accommodate more than 500 employees. “We are excited to be making a substantial investment in the Sterling area,” says Marc Simon, HALO CEO. “Our growth has been due in large part to our loyal and hard-working staff. We will continue ...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has released its Wellness in Meetings and Incentive Travel Study that provides insights and benchmarks for incorporating wellness into incentive travel and meetings programs, and highlights a disconnect between an expressed interest and actual implementation of wellness programs. “Each year, companies in the United States invest billions of dollars to both help their employees get healthier and additional billions to help them meet face to face,” says I...
August 01, 2017
Long-time HALO Branded Solutions employee Roger Saf passed away March 30 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was 68. A graduate of Peru State College and the University of Nebraska, Saf spent 34years in the promotional products industry with HALO Branded Solutions, working in sales. Outside the office, he enjoyed following sports teams—including the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Kansas City Royals—the outdoors and spending time with family and friends. Saf is survived by his wife, Laura; sister, Sharon ...
August 01, 2017
Gildan Activewear, Inc.’s (PPAI 250187) board of directors has selected Shirley E. Cunningham and Patrik Frisk as director nominees to be voted the on by shareholders at the supplier’s annual meeting on May 4 in Montreal, Quebec. Cunningham is currently executive vice president and chief operating officer, ag business and enterprise strategy, for CHS Inc., a global energy, grains and foods company. She has more than 25 years of global experience in information technology and business manageme...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes Suzan Bolski, MAS, chief executive officer of San Tan Valley, Arizona, distributor Anything Goes Promotions, Inc. as the April PPB Volunteer of the Month. The Association’s PPB Volunteers of the Month have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, advisory group, work group or task force on which they serve. Bolski serves on the PPAI Women’s Leadership Conference Work Group. She was nominated by Stacy Riddler, PPAI manager of pr...
August 01, 2017
The fifth annual Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW! Week) kicks off later this month for an industry-wide celebration of promotional products and the value they create. Running April 24-28, PPW! Week also highlights Get In Touch!TM, the industry’s first-of-its-kind branding campaign. Over the course of its five days, PPW! Week features five ways to speak up for the promotional products industry: Day One, host an open house, meet-and-greet or company tour; Day Two, advocate for the industry...
August 01, 2017
T-Shirt Tycoon President and CEO Adam Walterscheid (second from left) and Midwest Territory Sales Manager Lake Tankersley (center) welcomed PPAI staff members—(from left) PPAI Public Affairs Director Anne Stone, Professional Development Director Jennifer Crowfoot, Sales Specialist Alicia Haswell, PPB Associate Editor Jen Alexander and Member Care Specialist Jeff Coulter—to their Garland, Texas, office earlier this week. Members of the PPAI staff visited supplier T-Shirt Tycoon (PPAI 547092) ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett speaks on Millennials as coworkers and customers at the CASA 2017 Tropical Show. Last week, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett traveled to San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the Caribbean Advertising Specialties Association’s (CASA) 2017 Tropical Show. As part of the show’s full education day dedicated to Millennials in the industry, “Get To Know Millennials,” Barnett delivered two presentations to attendee...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s April webinar schedule takes a close look at promotional products professionals' opportunities and challenges, using promotional products to build business, creating client loyalty and more. Upcoming Aprils webinars include: Best of Expo 2017: Using Promo To Sell Promo April 7, 1 pm CST Technology: Know The Rules And Dangers When Shipping Electronics 2017 April 12, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Creating Client Loyalty April 14, 1 pm CST Mapping Out The Modern Consumer: Res...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has joined with approximately 400 industry businesses, companies and trade organizations to oppose the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). If the proposal is incorporated into Congress’ tax reforms, it would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports, including promotional products, while eliminating the tax on exports. The proposed BAT poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by increasing the c...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit will be held in Newport Beach, California, September 18-20. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Fac...
August 01, 2017
Friday is the final day for distributor companies to return their PPAI Annual Sales Volume Survey to report sales data for 2016. Each year, PPAI compiles the industry’s official distributor sales volume estimate to measure industry growth, identify financial trends and pinpoint top-selling product categories and types of promotional programs. Knowing the financial state of the promotional products industry allows PPAI to convey the magnitude of the industry to prospective buyers of promotiona...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Delta Apparel, Inc. (PPAI 188431) has completed the sale of Junkfood Clothing Company, its vintage-inspired, licensed-graphics t-shirt business, to JMJD Ventures, LLC for approximately $28 million. The sale proceeds include $25 million in cash at closing, with promissory note payments due between June 30 and March 30, 2018, for the remaining amount. The transaction does not include the sale of accounts receivable and certain other assets, or the assumption of trade payables and certa...
August 01, 2017
Distributor BC Graphics (PPAI 163911) of Tempe, Arizona, has joined Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664), a community of promotional products distributors. In business since 1985, BC Graphics offers printing, promotional products and design services. Barry Hoffman, president of the company, says, “Facilisgroup’s technology offers us tools to help us elevate our business to the next level. We’re also looking forward to becoming a part of the close-knit community of some of the most successful distributo...
August 01, 2017
The Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association (PAPPA), the Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA), the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) and the Caribbean Advertising Specialties Association (CASA) have joined the redesigned SAGE Affiliate Program. The Affiliate Program is designed to give regional associations in the promotional products industry and their members special benefits from SAGE through access to business management products and ...
August 01, 2017
H. Wayne Roberts PPAI is now accepting nominations for one of its highest honors, the H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award. Named after the late H. Ted Olson, MAS, PPAI president emeritus, the award represents what Olson stood for—volunteerism inside and outside the promotional products industry. H. Wayne Roberts, MAS, the retired vice president of Wichita, Kansas-based Pioneer Balloon and past chair of the PPAI Board of Directors, was honored with the 2017 H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award in Janu...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s April webinar schedule explores a number of opportunities and challenges for promotional products professionals, including connecting with the Millennial market, the rules and regulations around shipping electronics and an examination of the modern consumer. Upcoming Aprils webinars include: Seeing Millennials as Partners, Not Clients April 5, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Using Promo To Sell Promo April 7, 1 pm CST Technology: Know The Rules And Dangers When Shipping Electron...
August 01, 2017
PPAI is one of approximately 400 industry businesses, companies and trade organizations that is working to oppose the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). If the proposal is incorporated into Congress’ tax reforms, it would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports, including promotional products, while eliminating the tax on exports. The proposed BAT poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by increa...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is heading to Newport Beach, California, September 18-20. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Facil...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has officially registered the Get In Touch! mark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (Reg. No. 5,156,031). “We are very excited to announce that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has approved the trademark registration of ‘Get In Touch!,’ says Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI president and CEO. “Our success is based on our ability to competitively position the promotional products industry. It was very important for us to trademark this term so we can clearly distinguish one ...
August 01, 2017
SAGE has launched SAGE Online 12.5, which features significant upgrades to the company’s research and business management software, and delivers new features and efficiency-enhancing design. “We continue to innovate our products and services based on feedback from existing clients,” says David Natinsky, president of SAGE. “We’re thrilled to release the latest solutions to our customers so they can benefit from increased ease of use and effectiveness for their business. We always aim to be mov...
August 01, 2017
Global internet advertising will grow 13 percent in 2017 to $205 billion, forecasts Zenith Media in its latest Advertising Expenditure Forecast. Of total expenditures, internet advertising is slated to comprise 36.9 percent, up from 34 percent in 2016. While internet ad spending is expected to overtake traditional television ad spending in 2017—at $192 billion—its growth rate is slowing. It grew 17 percent in 2016 and 20 percent in 2015. Looking ahead, Zenith Media expects internet ad spendin...
August 01, 2017
Nominations are open through April 21 for the PPAI 2018 Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes PPAI members who consistently contribute their skills and expertise toward the betterment of the Association through volunteer service and leadership. Joe Scott, vice president of Chanhassen, Minnesota-based distributor Scott & Associates, Inc., is the most recent recipient of the award, honored in January at The PPAI Expo. Scott was recognized for the work he has done for the Associa...
August 01, 2017
Over the coming weeks, PPAI’s busy webinar schedule revisits some of the Expo’s popular education sessions, explorations of the Millennial workforce and technology best practices. Upcoming March and April webinars include: Best of Expo 2017: Hybrid Selling: How to Succeed As Online Business Grows March 31, 1 pm CST Seeing Millennials As Partners, Not Clients April 5, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Using Promo To Sell Promo April 7, 1 pm CST Technology: Know The Rules And Dangers W...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has joined industry businesses and a diverse coalition of companies and trade organizations in voicing their opposition to the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). The proposal, if incorporated into Congress’ tax reforms, would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports while eliminating the tax on exports. The proposed BAT poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products—and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is coming to Newport Beach, California, September 18-20. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Facili...
August 01, 2017
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) has been named PPAI’s 2017 Legislator of the Year. The award will be presented during the PPAI Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.), April 26-27 in Washington, D.C. Elected in 2014, Peters will be recognized for his history of serving the needs of the promotional products industry by encouraging economic stability and growth through advocating for small business, promoting manufacturing and preserving jobs. “We are pleased to recognize Sen. Peters, whose ...
August 01, 2017
On Friday, leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives pulled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) from a vote when it became clear that the bill did not have the votes to pass. The AHCA would have replaced the Affordable Care Act (ACA), replacing, modifying or retaining its various provisions. “Bottom line, this leaves small businesses in a continued state of limbo, because there’s still an issue of compliance but without a sense of what the program is going forward,” says Claudia St. Joh...
August 01, 2017
Cintas Corporation (PPAI 303547) has reported the results for its third quarter of fiscal year 2017, which ended February 28. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based distributor’s revenue for the third quarter was $1.28 billion, an increase of 5.3 percent over the same period last year. It has also completed the $2.2-billion acquisition of G&K Services, first announced in August 2016. Adjusting for acquisitions, foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and differences in the number of workdays, Cin...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Regency Franchise Group (PPAI 436730) has grown its franchise network with the addition of American Refreshments and Supplies in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. American Refreshments and Supplies launched in 2002 as a single-source solution offering office supplies, coffee service and refreshment vending services. In joining with Raleigh-based Regency, the company adds new online supplies and printed materials ordering and management program, and printed products, promotional and a...
August 01, 2017
This summer, PPAI introduces the inaugural SPARK, the premier event for young professionals in the promotional products industry. To be held July 27-28 in Denver, Colorado, SPARK is the latest development in a series of “pop-up” events PPAI introduced last year that offer education and networking opportunities for young people working in the industry. SPARK’s agenda is built around connecting future leaders and giving them insight into the ideas, projects and achievements that will shape the ...
August 01, 2017
The seventh annual PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is coming to Newport Beach, California, on September 18-20. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Fac...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series turns to responsible sourcing practices, Millennials and more in the coming weeks. Also, continuing into the spring is the Association’s ongoing series revisiting some of the highlights of the PPAI Expo 2017 education programming. Upcoming March and April webinars include: ICPHSO Annual Meeting And Training Symposium 2017 March 29, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Hybrid Selling: How to Succeed as Online Business Grows March 31, 1 pm CST Seeing Millennials as Partn...
August 01, 2017
The proposed border adjustment tax (BAT) would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports, including promotional products, while eliminating the tax on exports. PPAI is among the industry businesses and a diverse coalition of companies and trade organizations that have joined together to oppose BAT. “At a glance, the purpose of the BAT makes sense: ‘Bring back jobs and give us a level playing field against imports,’” says Geiger CIO Dale Denham, MAS+. “I like the goal but unfortunately, the ou...
August 01, 2017
The Consumer Product Safety Commission and Polaris have issued a recall for the model year 2015 and 2016 Sportsman 850 and 1000 all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for burn and fire hazards. The ATVs are sold in the promotional products market by supplier Incentive Concepts. The recall affects about 19,200 vehicles that were sold from May 2014 through March 2017. Polaris and the CPSC have received reports of the right-side panel heat shield melting, posing burn and fire hazards to riders. In addition...
August 01, 2017
Expo East’s Power Luncheon introduces sales professionals to the future of social media. Aimed at industry members wanting to stay on the forefront of current technology, the Power Luncheon, featuring technology strategist Crystal Washington, is the premier event in the extensive education schedule coming to Atlantic City’s Atlantic City Convention Center, June 12-14. Research shows most consumers in the U.S. use some sort of social media. Powerful Google search functions paired with sites li...
August 01, 2017
In a survey of 2,400 U.S. consumers, marketing researchers MarketingSherpa found that Americans find traditional advertising channels to be the most trustworthy when making a purchasing decision. Of the 13 channels surveyed, the top five in the results are traditional, including, in ranking order, print, TV, direct mail, radio and outdoor advertising, while the remaining eight are digital. Those include, in order, search engine, online video, sponsored blog posts, social media, online banners, m...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Association Midwest (PPAM), the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY), the Arizona Promotional Products Association (AzPPA), and the Northwest Promotional Marketing Association (NWPMA) have joined the redesigned SAGE Affiliate Program. The Affiliate Program is designed to give regional associations in the promotional products industry and their members special benefits from SAGE through access to business management products and services for memb...
August 01, 2017
PPAI is hosting the seventh annual Product Responsibility Summit in Newport Beach, California, on September 18-20. PPAI is offering special discounted room rates at the Duke Hotel, site of the Summit, and rooms are expected to fill up fast. An in-depth education conference, the Summit explores the current landscape in supply chain security, social responsibility and much more. It highlights the growing importance of social compliance audits and ethical sourcing and manufacturing practices. Fa...
August 01, 2017
In March and April, alongside examinations of cross-generational office environments and the latest in responsible sourcing practices, the PPAI webinar series returns to some of the highlights of the PPAI Expo 2017’s education programming. Upcoming March and April webinars include: Best of Expo 2017: Marketing and Building Your Distributorship March 24, 1 pm CST ICPHSO Annual Meeting And Training Symposium 2017 March 29, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Hybrid Selling: How to Succeed as...
August 01, 2017
PPAI, industry businesses and other trade organizations representing myriad facets of the U.S. economy, have joined together to voice their opposition to the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). The proposal, if incorporated into Congress’ tax reforms, would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports while eliminating the tax on exports. The proposed BAT poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products—and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and the nat...
August 01, 2017
PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, moderated a panel discussion with ITC.4's Larry and Elizabeth Manshel, sharing the industry's story with 300 students and faculty. PPAI is a long-standing partner and platinum-level sponsor of the American Marketing Association (AMA) and last week participated in its 39th annual International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Association sponsored the conference's t-shirt design and trade-show exhibit competitions, and PPAI Pres...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Paramount Apparel International (PPAI 133496) has acquired Back 9 USA LLC, a golf lifestyle brand established in 1997. “I am very excited to bring Back 9 under Paramount’s management,” says Mark Rubenstein, chairman & CEO of Bourbon, Missouri-based Paramount Apparel. “The Back 9 logo has great consumer appeal, and limitless potential at retail and online.” Paramount Apparel owns several golf brands in addition to Back 9, including Imperial Headwear and American Dry Goods, as w...
August 01, 2017
Industrial production is on the upswing in the U.S., reports economic research and consulting firm ITR Economics in the March 2017 edition of The ITR Advisor. Industrial production, a benchmark for the overall U.S. economy, is expected to grow 2.7 percent over the course of the year. The economy should continue to grow in 2018, but not at 2017’s pace, ITR predicts. While ITR’s forecast points to an overall increase in industrial production, it is not evenly distributed. It notes that growth i...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Souders Brand Marketing (PPAI 285908) has acquired Ocean Township, New Jersey-based Visions by Phoenix (PPAI 612632). The distributors were introduced and guided through the process by industry service provider The Distributor Exchange (PPAI 625088). Souders Brand Marketing, headquartered in Latham, New York, and an affiliate of iPROMOTEu, has been in business since 1997. Owner Trish Barone says, “Lorene and Danielle Manning, owners of Visions by Phoenix, really matched my work et...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Creative Promotional Products (PPAI 153971) of Skokie, Illinois, has joined Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664), a community of promotional products distributors. Based in Skokie, family-owned Creative Promotional Products also has an office in Hong Kong, from which it coordinates and develops custom products. Dan Granick, president of the company, says, “We had been looking at various platforms that would help us improve order tracking, streamline workflow and integrate CRM. Facilisgroup’...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett and Raining Rose, Inc.National Sales Representative Lindsey Whitney, MAS, share the promotional products industry’s story with students at Johnson & Wales University. On March 15, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett joined Lindsey Whitney, MAS, national sales representative for supplier Raining Rose, Inc., to deliver a presentation to Johnson & Wales University’s Foundations of Marketing and Ret...
August 01, 2017
In March and April, alongside examinations of business financing and cross-generational office environments, the PPAI webinar series returns to some of the highlights of the PPAI Expo 2017’s education programming. Upcoming March and April webinars include: Financing Your Promotional Products Distributor or Supplier Business for Growth March 22, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Marketing and Building Your Distributorship March 24, 1 pm CST ICPHSO Annual Meeting And Training Symposium 201...
August 01, 2017
Outstanding Branding (PPAI 678649) has been awarded the Silver Standard Rating in global recycling efforts from sustainability auditor First Mile. The Silver Rating places the UK-based distributor among the top 20 percent of companies in the country that participate in recycling programs. In 2016, Outstanding Branding recycled 1.65 tons of material and had an overall recycling rate of 100 percent. This places the company within just a few points of achieving the Gold Standard in 2017. “We...
August 01, 2017
The Federal Reserve announced on Tuesday that it is increasing its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a point, raising the target range for the federal funds rate to .75 to one percent. This the third increase of the benchmark since the Great Recession. At a press conference following the rate increase, Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen said, “The simple message is the economy is doing well. We have confidence in the robustness of the economy and the resilience to shocks.” In m...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index recovered in February following a downward tick in January. The index stands at 131.39 in February, representing a 3.1-percent gain on last year's level. “The Employment Trends Index increased sharply in February, with positive contributions from each of its eight components, providing more evidence that job growth is accelerating,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “It seems that higher business confidenc...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS), the Sunbelt Promotional Products Association (SPPA), the Carolinas Association of Advertising and Marketing Professionals (CAAMP), and the Georgia Association of Promotional Product Professionals (GAPPP) have joined the redesigned SAGE Affiliate Program. The Affiliate Program is designed to give regional associations in the promotional products industry and their members special benefits from SAGE through access to business managemen...
August 01, 2017
Geiger has released the results of its participation in UPS’ carbon neutral program, which it entered into in 2012. In 2016, the distributor shipped 459,605 packages weighing a total of 8,288,647 pounds. Under this program, Geiger purchased offsets for nearly 1,100 metric tons of CO2 emissions. This amount was offset through the purchase of carbon neutral credits. “Geiger looks for ways to continue our social responsibility, including our new facilities in Maine,” says Jo-an Lantz, MAS, chief...
August 01, 2017
Promotional Products Work! Week (PPW!Week) returns next month for an industry-wide celebration of promotional products and the value they create, and in this fifth year it features the industry’s first-of-its-kind branding campaign, Get In Touch! Running April 24-28 PPW!Week focus on five ways to speak up for the promotional products industry: Day One, host an open house, meet-and-greet or company tour; Day Two, advocate for the industry by speaking to colleges, clubs or business groups about...
August 01, 2017
This month, alongside examinations of business financing and responsible sourcing, the PPAI webinar series returns to some of the highlights of the PPAI Expo 2017’s education programming. Upcoming March webinars include: Best Of Expo 2017: Marketing On A Shoestring March 17, 1 pm CST Financing Your Promotional Products Distributor or Supplier Business for Growth March 22, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Marketing and Building Your Distributorship March 24, 1 pm CST ICPHSO Annual Me...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has joined with industry businesses and a coalition of companies and trade organizations representing myriad facets of the U.S. economy to voice its opposition to the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). The proposal, if incorporated into Congress’ tax reforms, would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports while eliminating the tax on exports. The proposal poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products—and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and ...
August 01, 2017
Now in its 20th year, Austin, Texas-based South by Southwest (SXSW) has grown from a regional music festival to a 10-day conglomeration of festivals and conferences tackling film, music, advertising and marketing, interactive media and more. Currently in the middle of its March 10-17 run, the SXSW 2017’s Brands & Marketing track, part of SXSW Interactive, explores native advertising, brand storytelling and other topics relevant to promotional products industry practitioners. SXSW offers a...
August 01, 2017
Spring came early to many parts of the U.S. this year but winter won’t let go in the Northeast where 14 inches of snow reportedly fell across the New York area overnight with up to 18 inches blanketing New England. With blizzard conditions and power failures to thousands of homes and businesses, some promotional products companies in the region are closed today. Among those who have reported closures are suppliers TK Cups-Sorg’s, Symbio Line, Bay State Specialty Company, Hub Pen Company and Prim...
August 01, 2017
4imprint Group PLC, parent of Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based distributor 4imprint (PPAI 107200), has released its final financial results for the year ending December 31, 2016, revealing healthy revenue growth of 12 percent compared to 2015. “Our business model is resilient and our market opportunity remains large and attractive,” says Paul Moody, 4imprint Group’s chairman. “After a period of volatility in the fourth quarter of 2016 caused by uncertainty around the U.S. presidential election, custo...
August 01, 2017
Smart devices and clothing—items embedded with internet-connected electronics—are a struggling market segment, and a study by market research firm AYTM suggests consumers’ interest is modest in the near term. In a survey of consumers over age 18, roughly one fifth (18 percent) had bought a wearable device or smart clothing, and less than half (46 percent) were at least somewhat likely to do so over the next five years. AYTM’s data shows that wearables holding the most appeal are health-relate...
August 01, 2017
iPROMOTEu’s (PPAI 218870) A Woman’s View program hosted its annual networking reception at The PPAI Expo. The event, held on January 11, drew more than 200 women to recognize and celebrate their peers in the industry. Designed to unite and support women in the promotional products industry, A Woman’s View was initially developed for iPROMOTEu’s women affiliates. It has since opened certain programming to all women in the industry. Tayla Carpenter, who runs the program, says, “Deciding to host...
August 01, 2017
A key element of Congress’ tax reform could be the introduction of a border adjustment tax (BAT), which would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports while eliminating the tax on exports. The proposal poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products—and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by increasing the cost of everyday products. In a letter to Maine’s Congressional delegation, Gene Geiger, MAS+, CEO of Lewiston, ...
August 01, 2017
iPROMOTEu held a pair of recognition events in January in Las Vegas during The PPAI Expo. The annual “Thank You” reception and Award Luncheon brought together approximately 350 affiliates, guests, and representatives of some of iPROMOTEu’s preferred vendors. At the Thank You reception, the Wayland, Massachusetts, distributor recognized and honored its Top 15 Preferred Vendors for 2016—SanMar, alphabroder, Polyconcept, Hit Promotional Products, TSC Apparel, BIC Graphic, Pro Towels, Bam Bams, P...
August 01, 2017
Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano, a cheese variety offered by Mosinee, Wisconsin, supplier Maple Ridge Farms (PPAI 114165), won the Grand Champion title in the U.S. Championship Cheese Contest, outscoring more than 2,000 entries from 33 states. “We are proud to feature Sartori Black Pepper BellaVitano in our cheese packages, and winning the title of Grand Champion is a tribute to this great cheesemaker,” says Tom Riordan, president of Maple Ridge Farms. In the competition, judges praised t...
August 01, 2017
Jack Harris (left) and volunteers pack products for Bundles of Hope charity distribution. Suppliers BELLA+CANVAS (PPAI 304892) and Gildan (PPAI 250187), in partnership with charity Bundles of Hope, will distribute care packages to over 5,000 homeless people in Los Angeles on March 15. BELLA+CANVAS donated new t-shirts, and Gildan supplied pairs of socks to the care packages that Bundles of Hope will give to the homeless as they make their way back into traditional living. Jack Harris, ...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands was presented with the Spirit of North Carolina Award for campaign excellence by the United Way of North Carolina, the eighth consecutive Spirit Award and 10th earned in the past 11 years by Hanes and its employees. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138). The company has pledged $2.1 million in 2017 for the United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) and surrounding communities, as well as donated food items and volunteer hou...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) is awarding eight new named scholarships for the first time this year. The move brings to 25 the total number of named scholarships—those established in honor or memory of an individual or company—presented each year. This category of PPEF scholarships offers outstanding students attending a two-year or four-year accredited undergraduate college or university a one-time award of $1,000 toward their education. It is funded at three levels. A...
August 01, 2017
Staples, Inc., parent company of distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945), has released its financial performance for the fourth quarter and fiscal year that ended January 28, 2017. The company’s total sales for the fourth quarter of 2016 were $4.6 billion, a decrease of three percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2015, and it reported a net loss from continuing operations of $615 million. Continuing operations impacting the fourth quarter’s results include pre-tax charges o...
August 01, 2017
What “digital” means for businesses has grown more expansive over the years, reports PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in its 10th annual Global Digital IQ Survey. The company gathered information from 2,216 business and technology executives for the study, and found a fundamental shift in the integration of technology with the human experience. “Digital IQ has a completely different meaning today than it had when we started this research a decade ago,” says Chris Curran, chief technologist at PwC...
August 01, 2017
Earlier this week, the House Republican leadership released a bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The AHCA does not repeal the ACA in its entirety, and in fact changes or keeps certain provisions of the law. On Monday, The New York Times published a piece on how the current draft of the AHCA keeps, changes or discards parts of the ACA. The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), of which PPAI is a member and for which PPAI President and C...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has taken a concrete step to shape the industry’s future leaders with the introduction of the Association’s Intern Program, giving companies the tools they need to effectively manage internship programs. The program includes education tools, such as Promotional Products 101 to bring interns up to speed on industry basics, a lineup of targeted webinars focused on the needs of interns, and an introduction to and guidance from PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett. ...
August 01, 2017
On March 7, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett joined the Three Rivers Advertising Specialty Association (TRASA) at its Expo in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, taking part in the event’s education programming. Barnett’s session, which drew an audience of about 40 attendees, focused on Millennial consumerism and working to bring Millennial buyers into the promotional products industry. “This group was particularly engaged,” says Barnett. “Their market, the greater Pittsbu...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s March webinar series revisits some of the highlights of Expo 2017’s education programming, examines best practices in exporting products and financing growth, and explores a wide range of issues important to promotional products industry professionals. Upcoming March webinars include: New Drawback Provisions March 15, 1 pm CST Best Of Expo 2017: Marketing On A Shoestring March 17, 1 pm CST Financing Your Promotional Products Distributor Or Supplier Business for Growth March...
August 01, 2017
With at least some legislation now on the table to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Congress can now turn more of its attention towards tax reform. A key element of tax reform could be the introduction of a border adjustment tax (BAT). Designed as a “pay-for” solution to cut income tax rates, the BAT would levy a 20-percent tax on all U.S. imports while eliminating the tax on exports. Congress is not of one mind on the BAT proposal, with both conservative and liberal members questi...
August 01, 2017
PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, the UMAPP panel's moderator, presents a question to panelists (from left) Bill Smith, Jr., president of Brown & Bigelow and Hotline Calendars; Paul Tauton, CEO of Business Impact Group; Chuck Fandos, CEO of Brand Addition and FacilisGroup, and CJ Schmidt, president of HIT Promotional Products. The Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) held its 2017 Fire & Ice Show on Tuesday, bringing more than 400 distributors at ...
August 01, 2017
(From left) Mark Shinn, MAS; Jessica Hutwelker, MAS; and Daniel Roso met with Washington's legislators in Olympia. PPAI joined industry professionals and the Northwest Promotional Marketing Association (NWPMA) last week in Salem, Oregon, and Olympia, Washington, for L.E.A.D. Local events. L.E.A.D. Local is the Association’s state-level legislative outreach effort to deliver the message of the promotional products industry to state legislators, and draws on practices established with PPAI’s a...
August 01, 2017
Lakeville, Massachusetts-based PromoCorner (PPAI 110698) has acquired fellow business services provider brandivate (PPAI 626207). As part of the transition, the founder and CEO of Franklin, Tennessee-based brandivate, Bill Petrie, becomes president of PromoCorner effective immediately. Joel Moore, CEO of PromoCorner, says, “With brandivate, Bill Petrie has built an exceptional brand in the promotional products industry. We look forward to adding Bill’s leadership, vision and expertise as we i...
August 01, 2017
Adding personalized communication to a firm’s marketing efforts can have a positive impact on its bottom line, says a new report. In an analysis of the practices of 130 senior marketers, marketing software provider Monetate found that the element of personalization can increase loyalty, drive higher conversion rates and grow revenue compared with not personalizing the experience. Personalization, as defined by the company’s study, enables marketers to interact with individuals at any moment, ...
August 01, 2017
Michael Byron Toney, a former regional sales manager for Midlothian, Texas-based supplier Ennis, Inc. (PPAI 280026), passed away on February 19 in Fullerton, California. He was 67. Toney, a graduate of Ohio University, spent more than 30 years in the print business, first with Datagraphics and later with Printegra, which Ennis acquired in 2012. He remained with Ennis until this past November. “Michael was the type of salesperson who would go out of his way to help all of his customers, who...
August 01, 2017
This week PPAI unveiled its new website designed to more fully serve and support the needs of members. PPAI.org’s new look is fresh, modern, easier to navigate and use, and better supports the Association’s strategic goals. “It was time,” says PPAI Marketing Director Keith Vincent, who oversaw the transformation. “The old site was five years old and looked dated. The user experience was not great and the navigation was overwhelming. But most importantly, we did not feel the site properly refl...
August 01, 2017
The 2017 PPPC National Convention’s show floor opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Joined by PPAI Board Chair Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, (second from left) and President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, (third from left), among others, PPPC Board Chair Alain Gravel (center) cut the ribbon and welcomed attendees to the exhibit floor. Promotional Products Professionals of Canada (PPPC) brought the industry to the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario, on February 12-14 for its 2017 PPPC Nat...
August 01, 2017
For most industry companies, the next two years will be better than 2016, but watch out for 2019 says the PPAI/ITR Economics’ fourth quarter 2016 Market Outlook Report for the promotional products industry. The economic research and consulting firm’s supplier member index ended 2016 up 0.7 percent from the 2015 level, suggesting that typically PPAI supplier members saw sales up 0.7 percent over the course of the year. ITR’s forecast, which extends to 2019, expects 4.1-percent and 3.8-percent ...
August 01, 2017
Four regional associations—The New England Promotional Products Association (NEPPA), the Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA), the Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA), and Three Rivers Advertising Specialty Association (TRASA)—have joined the redesigned SAGE Affiliate Program. The customized program is designed to give industry regional associations and their members special benefits from SAGE through access to business management products and services for members and...
August 01, 2017
The National Promotional Products Credit Group held its semi-annual meeting in conjunction with The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas in January. The meeting brought credit professionals together to discuss industry-specific information on mutual customers, best practices exchanges and networking. The event also included two educational presentations for attendees. In attendance were credit professionals representing industry suppliers including BAG MAKERS, Inc.; BIC Graphic; Cutter & Buck; Digispec...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes Eric Alessi, president of Easton, Pennsylvania, business services provider Essent Corporation, as the March PPB Volunteer of the Month. The Association’s PPB Volunteers of the Month have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, advisory group, work group or task force on which they serve. Alessi serves on PPAI’s Technology Committee and was nominated by Paul Elfstrom, PPAI IT director and staff liaison to the Technology Committ...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI’s webinar series explores a wide range of issues important to promotional products industry professionals, including best practices in importing and exporting, financing growth and more. Upcoming March webinars include: U.S. Customs Incentive Programs: C-TPAT and ISA March 8, 1 pm CST New Drawback Provisions March 15, 1 pm CST Financing Your Promotional Products Distributor or Supplier Business for Growth March 22, 1 pm CST Best of Expo 2017: Marketing and Buil...
August 01, 2017
This week, Americans for Affordable Products (AAP), a coalition PPAI has joined of more than 200 businesses and trade associations seeking to stop the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), released a letter to Speaker Paul Ryan, U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and issued a response to President Trump’s address to Congress. In the correspondence to Congressional leadership the AAP wrote, “The goal of tax refo...
August 01, 2017
PPAI is joining the Northwest Promotional Marketing Association (NWPMA) and its members this week to bring Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) to the Pacific Northwest. Visiting state capitols in Salem, Oregon, on March 1, and Olympia, Washington, on March 2, L.E.A.D. Local participants will meet with the legislators and educate them on their state’s promotional products industry. The L.E.A.D. Local participants have 25 meetings scheduled in both Salem and Olympia. Promotional pro...
August 01, 2017
Distributor InnerWorkings, Inc. has released its financial results for the final three months and full year ending December 31, 2016. The Chicago, Illinois-based company reports gross revenue of $270.4 million in fourth quarter 2016—up slightly from fourth quarter 2015’s $270.3 million—and a six-percent increase in 2016 gross revenue—$1.09 billion. “2016 was another record year of profitable growth and new client wins,” says Eric D. Belcher, chief executive officer of InnerWorkings. “The succ...
August 01, 2017
Incentive industry businesses ended 2016 somewhat optimistic about the economy and its impact on the industry. The data comes from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) and its 2017 Outlook Study, an analysis of how incentive, rewards and recognition programs are being designed and budgeted for 2017. The study also introduced the IRF’s Net Optimism Score, a simplified metric to track the economic outlook for the incentives industry. The IRF funds and promotes research to advance the science...
August 01, 2017
In order to better accommodate the promotional products market, Pontiac, Michigan, supplier KitchenHappy is now known as Tangico (PPAI 651709). “We’ve outgrown the kitchen but we’re still happy,” says Jennifer Garrison, director of operations. “We’ve invested in new equipment and streamlined our shop to meet the growing demand for our products.” The name Tangico was chosen to reflect the company’s mission. Co-owner Sue Kinch adds, “We design tangible products to guarantee repeat visibility...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Ariel Premium Supply (PPAI 161650) has become a corporate sponsor of the Rainforest Trust, a global conservation organization dedicated to protecting threatened tropical forests and endangered wildlife. Since 1988, the Rainforest Trust has saved more than 16 million acres of critical rainforest habitat. “This is a great opportunity for the Ariel family to be part of a global effort to help protect such a vital ecosystem on our planet,” says Yuhling Lu, vice president of Overland, Mis...
August 01, 2017
Robert G. (Bob) Cornell, founder of industry supplier Cornell Concepts, passed away on February 20. He was 83. Cornell founded Cornell Concepts in the early 1970s, and designed and produced molded plastic products for the promotional products industry. While Cornell had retired several years ago, his wife, Dale Johnson Cornell remains active in the industry and heads the multi-line rep firm Dale B. Johnson Associates (PPAI 110660). Alongside his work in the industry, Cornell had a number o...
August 01, 2017
In the first two months of 2017, six industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Professional (MAS) or Certified Advertising Professional (CAS) industry certifications. Along with a number of designees who earned their certifications at The PPAI Expo 2017 in January, they join an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional...
August 01, 2017
The Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY) has named Donna-Jean Plante the regional association’s new executive director, effective February 21. Plante brings a broad range of experience to the position, including more than 15 years in association management, with roles in operations, membership, events, educational programs and general administration. For the past five years, she has served as manager of events and continuing legal education programs for the Federal B...
August 01, 2017
Suppliers Crown Products (PPAI 113430) and Vitronic (PPAI 114197) were awarded the 2016 Top Vendor Award from American Solutions for Business (PPAI 101656). Rory Campbell accepted the award on behalf of IMAGEN Brands, parent company of Crown Products and Vitronic, at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. Every year, American Solutions for Business selects its most valuable supplier partners to reward them for their exceptional products, services and growth. Winners are chosen based on overall volume, g...
August 01, 2017
Pens from Rhode Island’s A.T. Cross, which does business in the promotional products industry as supplier Cross (PPAI 114156), have been the choice of U.S. presidents since Gerald Ford. Donald Trump is no exception, and the Associated Press has reported that the White House recently placed a second order with its distributor, as the president has taken to giving out the customized, gold-plated pens as gifts. The White House originally ordered 150 of the pens and recently received an additiona...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has joined a coalition of more than 50 trade and professional organizations calling on President Trump to sign an executive order authorizing a White House Conference on Small Business (WHCSB), which has not taken place in more than 20 years. The WHCSB was a series of three conferences held in 1980, 1986 and 1995 to foster better relationships with the business community, Congress and the White House. The letter says, “We encourage your administration to reunite the wide variety of voice...
August 01, 2017
Supplier AAkron Rule (PPAI 111082) is looking to upgrade its facility in Akron, New York, with the addition of more than 25,000 square feet for increased warehouse and production space. AAkron Rule’s expansion plans include a 9,000-square-foot addition that would enlarge its warehouse space to 20,500 square feet, and moving its molding operations into another, 16,000-square-foot expansion of its facility. A print shop area would move into the molding line’s old location. In the tax incenti...
August 01, 2017
IMAGEN Brands Marketing Summit 2017 brought together the company's marketing and product development teams. IMAGEN Brands, parent company of suppliers Crown Products (PPAI 113430) and Vitronic (PPAI 114197), hosted a marketing summit for the marketing and product development teams for both companies last week in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Running February 14-16, this was IMAGEN Brands’ first marketing summit. “The essence of the IMAGEN Brands Marketing Summit was to share our clear vision of...
August 01, 2017
Next month, PPAI’s webinar series explores a wide range of issues important to promotional products industry professionals, including apparel trends, the basics of importing, export duties and more. Upcoming March webinars include: Apparel Trends and Transcending the Promo Products Market March 1, 1pm CST New Drawback Provisions March 15, 1 pm CST Financing Your Promotional Products Distributor or Supplier Business for Growth March 22, 1 pm CST ICPHSO Annual Meeting And Trainin...
August 01, 2017
CPSC Acting Chair Ann Marie Buerkle debates CPSC Commissioner Marietta Robinson during a luncheon program at the ICPHSO Annual Meeting & Training Symposium. On Wednesday, Acting Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Ann Marie Buerkle addressed more than 700 product safety professionals at the International Consumer Products Health and Safety Organization (ICPHSO) Annual Meeting & Training Symposium in Orlando, Florida. Buerkle was tapped as the CPSC’s acting chair...
August 01, 2017
On the past year, distributor 4imprint (PPAI 107200) has presented 767 nonprofit organizations, schools, religious groups and charitable projects $500 in-kind grants to put promotional products to work in the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, company’s one by one grant program. 4imprint doubled its commitment to the program in 2016 in celebration of its 10th anniversary, providing at least two $500 in-kind promotional products grants each business day. “We continue to be impressed and amazed by what these ...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Marketing Association (IMA) has been accepted to the ISO Technical Advisory Group (TAG260) on establishing human capital standards worldwide. ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization that has published more than 21,000 standards to ensure quality, safety and efficiency for products, services and systems covering almost every industry. “The IMA is delighted to join in designing an international standard for human resource management (HRM) that will optim...
August 01, 2017
A clear majority of business-to-business companies (81.3 percent) are expected to invest more in their brand strategies in the next five years, reports brand strategy consultancy Spencer Brenneman in a new study. Most B2B companies’ expectations for their brand strategy investment growth fall in either the “up to 20 percent” or “21 to 40 percent” brackets. This uptick is on top of the increased spending that 86.7 percent of those surveyed report investing over the past five years—half of them...
August 01, 2017
Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant (PPAI 111662) has acquired San Jose, California, supplier Private Label Executive Gifts, Inc. This acquisition marks Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant’s fifth acquisition in the promotional food gifts category. Private Label Executive Gifts offers Jelly Belly branded products, unique mint tins and shaped mint products, and has been an industry food vendor since 1998. “We are very excited to announce the acquisition of Private Label,” says Lance Stier, a prin...
August 01, 2017
SAGE celebrated its 25th anniversary on February 18. The company was founded in 1992 and the SAGE Information System, later renamed SAGE Online, arrived shortly thereafter as the first online product research solution for promotional products. In 2010, SAGE and PPAI became partners in the Power of Two strategic alliance to deliver one comprehensive association and business management solution to promotional products distributors. David Natinsky, president of SAGE, says, “We are excited and gr...
August 01, 2017
The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) has named C.E. “Tee” Rowe, president of America’s Small Business Development Centers, chair effective February 15. An annually elected position, Rowe succeeds John Grau, chief executive officer of the National Electrical Contractors Association. The mission of the SBLC, of which PPAI is a member and for which PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, serves as a board director, is twofold: to make improvements in public policy for small busines...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has joined Americans for Affordable Products, a growing coalition of almost 190 like-minded business leaders, corporations and industry groups, to oppose the Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), a tax reform proposal that poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products. Last week, suppliers SanMar and alphabroder partnered on a letter to the industry adding their voice to concerns over the BAT and encouraging members to reach out to legislators on the issue. An...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands’ Cleveland Distribution Center, located in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, was one of 34 facilities in the state of North Carolina to achieve two million employee hours without injury in 2016. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138). North Carolina Department of Labor Commissioner (NCDOL) Cherie Berry visited the distribution center on February 16 to present the certificate to Joel Long, director of distribution for Ha...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has announced new volunteer committee and advisory group chairs and liaisons for the 2017-2018 term. The PPAI committees and advisory groups are comprised of volunteer representatives from the Association’s membership including distributors, suppliers, business services partners and representatives, who work together to promote, protect and grow the promotional products industry and the Association. PPAI volunteer committees address ongoing and essential strategic missions important to t...
August 01, 2017
The latest SBLC Report from the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) returns to the question of what may be ahead for tax reform in the U.S. How much is comprehensive tax reform likely to cost? Of course, no one knows for sure but the estimates for Trump’s tax plan during the first decade are between $5 to 7 trillion with the estimates for the House Blueprint Tax Reform plan (“Blueprint plan”) running at about half that amount. However, when using dynamic scoring (i.e., taking into accou...
August 01, 2017
In its Digital Price Index (DPI) for January, Adobe reports that U.S. consumer spending indicated higher than expected inflation for two consecutive months. Prices typically drop in November due to holiday discounts before rebounding. However, prices in December 2016 saw a bigger jump compared to 2015 (0.6 percent versus zero percent) and surpassed pre-holiday levels. This trend continued into January 2017, with prices increasing .05 percent, which resulted in 1.2 percent cumulative inflation fo...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Admints & Zagabor (PPAI 227425), a division of Hit Promotional Products (PPAI 113910), has been awarded QCA accreditation by the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), an independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products. Bellmawr, New Jersey-based Admints & Zagabor is a manufacturer of candy, mints, food gifts and personal care items such as lip balm and hand sanitizer. QCA-accredited companies endorse a self-certifi...
August 01, 2017
This month and next, PPAI’s webinar series explores a wide range of issues important to promotional products industry professionals, including apparel trends and financial best practices, and it takes an in-depth look at PPAI’s industry research resources. Upcoming webinars in February and March include: PPAI Research 101: Your Comprehensive Guide To The Industry’s Source For Data And Analytics February 22, 1 pm CT Apparel Trends and Transcending the Promo Products Market March 1, 1pm...
August 01, 2017
Cassie Otto, Deb Fleming and Linda Huppert presented BIC Graphic Red Wing's check to the Goodhue County Sheriff Department. BIC Graphic (PPAI 114187) has donated $5,500 to the Goodhue County Sheriff Department in Red Wing, Minnesota, in support of founding a water rescue and recovery team. In 2015, the Red Wing area was struck by the tragic loss of a young mother of two when her vehicle went into the Mississippi River. As a result, the local sheriff department prioritized the need for a w...
August 01, 2017
Nearly 400 industry professionals have joined PPAI in voicing their opposition to the proposed Border Adjustment Tax (BAT). The U.S. House Republican tax reform proposal poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products—and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by increasing the cost of everyday products. The BAT, which would function as a national sales tax, could drive the unemployment rate back to 2010 highs in the afterm...
August 01, 2017
Most brands have a blind spot when it comes to understanding the emotions that drive customer loyalty, and they don’t fully understand the negative impact of failing to meet customers’ expectations, says a study of 20,000 consumers and 10,000 companies in 12 countries conducted by customer experience optimization platform InMoment. Consumers, as well as companies, say “satisfaction” is the emotion most linked to positive brand experiences, though a bigger share of consumers cite it as the top...
August 01, 2017
Outstanding Branding hosted a launch party in New York celebrating the opening of its U.S. office UK-based distributor Outstanding Branding (PPAI 678649) held a launch party on February 8 for its New York office. Outstanding Branding opened the office at 300 Park Avenue in October. The two-hour event drew more than 300 end buyers representing 130 companies, and featured promotional products from a number of industry suppliers including Prime Line Resources, Vantage Apparel, Sourcery Solut...
August 01, 2017
Ten multi-line reps have been chosen as PPB’s 2017 Best Multi-Line Reps. They are: Cheryl Lickteig and Dale Cornell Johnson, Dale B. Johnson Associates; Daniel Sachs, West Coast Branded Solutions; Greg Jackson, Northwest Reps; Jamie Hudson, Hudson Marketing; Lori Eaton, LoriEaton.com; Matt Carter, CAS, Flannagan & Associates; Seth Friedman, Friedman’s Corporate Apparel; Steve Donlin, Team Donlin, and Walter Brzyski, Team Walter B. Since 2011, PPB has invited nominations from the PPAI memb...
August 01, 2017
Branding has everything to do with identity; who you are and what kind of products and services you represent. PPAI’s 2016 Consumer Study found that, when prompted with an unaided question, 83 percent of respondents said they recalled at least one brand and 23 percent recalled at least one message from a promotional product they received. However, if aided or given options, nine in 10 on average correctly recalled branding, and eight in 10 recalled messaging characteristics, which indicates that...
August 01, 2017
As first reported in a Breaking News on Wednesday, HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) has acquired New York City-based Michael C. Fina Recognition, a third-generation leader in the recognition and incentives industry. The acquisition is the second in the past week for HALO; the company acquired Catalyst Marketing, Inc. on February 1. For the past 50 years, Michael C. Fina Recognition has offered companies robust recognition, rewards, and incentive programs that drive engagement and deliver ...
August 01, 2017
A snowstorm is forecast for the New York City area, northern New Jersey and coastal Connecticut today and is expected to drop eight to 12 inches or more of snow. Along with school closings, some promotional products companies in the region are closed today as well. Prime Line’s (PPAI 112744) Bridgeport, Connecticut, offices are shut down for the day but the company is continuing to accept orders by email and fax, and a customer service representative is also available. Customers should call ...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands has announced its fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 financial results, and its initial financial guidance for 2017. For this year, the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company is forecasting high-single-digit growth expectations for net sales, record cash flow from operations and growth for its operating profit and earnings. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138). For the year ending Dec. 31, 2016, fourth-quarter n...
August 01, 2017
The New England Patriots weren’t the only winners on Sunday night. Super Bowl 51 generated $432.4 million in national advertising sales and more than $500 million in total day national television advertising for Fox, reports to iSpot.tv, and those numbers beat expectations. Fox’s Super Bowl ad haul came from 89 spots from 62 brands airing 91 times. The broadcaster charged $5 million for each 30-second commercial. In 2016, the average cost of a Super Bowl ad was $4.8 million. Its biggest spen...
August 01, 2017
Employment picked up in January, after easing slightly in December. The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index increased last month to 130.04, up from 129.73 in December. January’s figure represents a 2.4-percent gain in the index compared to a year ago. “The continued growth in the Employment Trends Index suggests that job growth will remain solid and perhaps even accelerate in early 2017,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “In both business confi...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett's (right) panelists at the PPAS event included (from left) Mike Eaton, LoriEaton.com; Farrah Vargas, Allied Affiliated Funding, and Sarah Thomas, American Solutions for Business. On Tuesday, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett joined the Promotional Products Association Southwest (PPAS) to facilitate a young professional panel discussion. The event also included a tabletop show and luncheon. Barnett ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series in February and March explores a range of issues important to promotional products industry professionals, including apparel trends, financing best practices, and more. Upcoming webinars in February and March include: Prezi: Powerful Presentations February 15, 1 pm CST PPAI Research 101: Your Comprehensive Guide To The Industry’s Source For Data And Analytics February 22, 1 pm CST Apparel Trends And Transcending The Promo Products Market March 1, 1pm CST N...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has reached out to the Federal Maritime Commission regarding its support of a petition for rulemaking from the Coalition for Fair Port Practices. On December 28, the commission published a notice in the Federal Register concerning the petition, which would help bring about more reasonable demurrage and detention practices for cargo moving through U.S. seaports. In its letter to the commission, PPAI urges it to begin a formal rulemaking on the matter as soon as possible. Incidents of seve...
August 01, 2017
Leed’s (PPAI 112361) was named 2016 Supplier of the Year by Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664), a management consulting and technology services group for promotional products distributors. The award was presented when Facilisgroup partners and suppliers met in Las Vegas during The PPAI Expo for their 2017 Winter Summit. “We’re honored that Facilisgroup named us Supplier of the Year,” says Leanne Finney, PCNA vice president of marketing. “We work hard to build strong, lasting relationships with our cu...
August 01, 2017
Industry supplier alphabroder (PPAI 156993) has stepped up to affirm its commitment to the professional development and success of the promotional products industry through higher education with a Platinum-Level pledge of $120,000 to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) Tomorrow Fund. The news was first announced in a Breaking News alert on Monday. “This commitment to the PPEF fund is in appreciation of everything our industry has given us at alphabroder,” says Norm Hullinger,...
August 01, 2017
A Brand Company, Inc. (PPAI 188929) announced Monday that Executive Chairman Marc Roy is no longer with the Charlotte, North Carolina, distributor and that he intends to pursue other professional and personal interests. The move was effective January 30. An immediate replacement for Roy has not been named, though the company plans to internally support the role in the interim. “A Brand Company has precautionary stopgap measures in place to address a leadership vacancy,” says Fred Parker, CEO ...
August 01, 2017
Delta Apparel, Inc. (PPAI 188431) released its fiscal 2017 first quarter results on Monday, reporting net sales of $85.3 million for the quarter ending December 31, 2016, down $4.8 million, or 5.4 percent, from $90.2 million for the 2016 first quarter. The Greenville, South Carolina-based supplier reports that Art Gun and e-commerce showed strong revenue growth but overall sales for the quarter were hindered by the impact of Hurricane Matthew, the closure of a large sports retailer, lower sales ...
August 01, 2017
The 11th Promotional Products Expo in Coventry, UK, drew more than 2,000 distributor attendees. On January 25-26, the Promotional Products Expo, formerly the Trade Only National Show, welcomed more than 2,000 distributors to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK. Now in its 11th year, the expo’s trade-show floor featured 200-plus exhibitors. The exhibit hall kept things interesting with the introduction of new products, a treasure hunt and giveaways. Alongside the action on the show floor, the ...
August 01, 2017
Grossman Marketing Group has acquired Manchester, Maine, distributor Premier Marketing Group (PPAI 109511). The acquisition comes just three years after Grossman Marketing Group, headquartered in Somerville, Massachusetts, acquired ASAP, a Norwalk, Connecticut, distributor, and one year after it acquired Fleet Business Products of East Hartford, Connecticut. Grossman now has major operations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and Washington, D.C. Mike Whitman, who founded P...
August 01, 2017
Tom Goos, MAS, PPAI's 2016 board chair, passed the gavel to Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, at The PPAI Expo 2017. Tomasini will lead the Association's board through Expo 2018. At The PPAI Expo 2017, Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, took up the gavel as chair of the PPAI Board of Directors for 2017-2018. Tomasini is CEO of distributor CE Competitive Edge, LLC (PPAI 103776) in Stevensville, Michigan, and a 30-plus-year veteran of the promotional products industry. “I am humbled by the privilege to serve as 2...
August 01, 2017
At The PPAI Expo 2017, six industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Professional (MAS) or Certified Advertising Professional (CAS) industry certifications, joining an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to their...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. House Republican tax reform proposal includes a recommendation to adopt a Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), which poses a discriminatory tax on all imported products—including promotional products—and is anticipated to hurt American consumers and the nation’s largest employers by increasing the cost of everyday products. The BAT, which would function as a national sales tax, could drive the unemployment rate back to 2010 highs in the aftermath of the financial crisis. PPAI staff have alre...
August 01, 2017
PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE The Georgia Association of Promotional Products Professionals (GAPPP) welcomed more than 300 distributors and twice that many end buyers to its GAPPP Expo and University in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 30-31. The event featured a bustling trade-show floor, networking opportunities and a full day of education, including sessions presented by PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, and Public Affairs Director Anne Stone. “Growing and expandin...
August 01, 2017
Murray Siegel, CAS (left), and Bob Titelman, Sr. were inducted into the CPPA Hall of Fame at the regional association's Peake Awards ceremony. CPPA's Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who make an outstanding and lasting contribution to the association and the promotional products industry. The Chesapeake Promotional Products Association (CPPA) honored regional performers at the association’s annual Peake Awards Ceremony, sponsored by J Charles Crystalworks, at M&T Bank Stadium in Balti...
August 01, 2017
Industry supplier alphabroder (PPAI 156993) has stepped up to affirm its commitment to the professional development and success of the promotional products industry through higher education with a Platinum-Level pledge of $120,000 to the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) Tomorrow Fund. The fund was created 16 years ago as a means to ensure ongoing funding and support of PPEF scholarship programs. "This commitment to the PPEF fund is in appreciation of everything our industry ha...
August 01, 2017
As reported earlier today in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, Distributor HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) has acquired the business of Catalyst Marketing, Inc. (PPAI 278469), a distributor based in Seattle, Washington. “Tom Havens has built an exceptional team offering creative services and promotional solutions with a unique model for our industry,” says Marc Simon, CEO of Sterling, Illinois-based HALO. “We look forward to providing additional operational and technology enhancements ...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Education Foundation’s (PPEF) 2017 scholarship program is now taking applications for the 2017-2018 school year with $175,000 in scholarships available. Since its inception in 1989, PPEF has awarded approximately $1.5 million in financial assistance. Funded by PPAI and donations from the promotional products industry, the scholarship program enables youth and professionals to continue their education on a collegiate level. The association and industry patrons have a l...
August 01, 2017
In its latest SBLC Report, the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), looks at what may be ahead for tax reform in the U.S. The mission of the SBLC, of which PPAI is a member and for which PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, serves as a board director, is twofold: to make improvements in public policy for small business and to help member associations in their communications with business members. Please note that this weekly is for the sole personal, informational use of PPAI membe...
August 01, 2017
E-commerce is increasingly popular among marketers, a study by the Association of National Advertisers shows, and that within the next two years more than 80 percent of them will be using it to conduct business. The study, “The ANA Survey Report: E-Commerce Insights,” also found that 73 percent of marketers believe e-commerce drives revenue and, of those, 43 percent say it accounts for up to 10 percent of all sales. For purposes of its study, ANA defined e-commerce as a wide variety of intern...
August 01, 2017
Attendees stream in on Expo's opening day. Verified attendance numbers are in and PPAI is reporting that The PPAI Expo, which wrapped up in Las Vegas on January 12 after a spectacular five-day run, attracted a total of 12,267 distributor personnel, the show’s largest attendance since 2008. Featuring 1,251 exhibiting supplier companies in 3,144 booths, including 157 first-time exhibitors, the Expo showcased thousands of new and exciting products, education and events in one million square ...
August 01, 2017
Cimpress, the Dutch parent company of Waltham, Massachusetts, distributor Vistaprint (PPAI 565755), has announced plans to deeply decentralize the company’s operations and move roughly 3,000 positions to business units, as well as eliminate approximately 160 positions and reduce planned hiring in targeted areas. Cimpress also has made several promotions and additions to its executive team. Trynka Shineman, previously president of Vistaprint, has been promoted to chief executive officer to ref...
August 01, 2017
Midlothian, Texas-based supplier Ennis, Inc. (PPAI 280026), has acquired Independent Printing Company, Inc. and related entities in a stock purchase transaction that closed January 27. The majority stockholder was a private equity firm in New York. Independent has four locations in Wisconsin, with its main facility located in DePere. The business produces presentation folders, checks, wide format and commercial printing. Independent had sales of approximately $37 million for the calendar year...
August 01, 2017
Proforma reports that a record total of 171 of the Cleveland, Ohio-based distributor’s owners achieved million or multi-million dollar success in 2016. Of these top performers, 16 will be welcomed into the Million Dollar Club for the first time, and 14 will be inducted into the Multi-Million Dollar Club. Proforma’s Million and Multi-Million Dollar Members’ sales range from $1 million to $35 million with members earning additional recognition at the $5 million, $10 million and $25 million sales l...
August 01, 2017
Additional features add even more customization capabilities to SAGE Websites to impress visitors, including modern layouts, a new custom page designer, new areas for blogs and videos, multiple product images, and more. SAGE has released updates to its website solutions, including SAGE WebExpress Pro, an advanced content management system, and SAGE PromoSearch, a website addition offering visitors the ability to search the entire SAGE product database. The features newly added to SAGE WebE...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes all of the volunteers who retired from their leadership positions during The PPAI Expo 2017 as January’s PPB Volunteers of the Month. The Association began recognizing PPB Volunteers of the Month in March 2014. The individuals honored have dedicated their time to the progress and fulfilling the charge of a committee, advisory group, work group or task force on which they serve. During their term on a PPAI committee or advisory group, volunteers always arrive a d...
August 01, 2017
U.S industry production in 2016 trailed 2015 levels by one percent, reports economic research and consulting firm ITR Economics in the January 2017 edition of its ITR Advisor. Despite the industrial production slowdown, improving conditions for the U.S. consumer have driven the economy forward. Leading indicators point to the U.S. industrial economy growing through 2017, but of the three components that make up the indicator—manufacturing, mining and utilities—only manufacturing avoided a rec...
August 01, 2017
Digital advertising spending growth slowed in Standard Media Index’s (SMI) results for 2016, reflecting a slowing ad market and questions from advertisers on its effectiveness. SMI’s digital ad spending data shows growth of 13.3 percent in 2016, compared to 26.2 percent the year before. Total 2016 ad spending grew 6.8 percent, easing 0.8 percent from 2015. “Brands today are marketing in a digital world and we have seen the rapid growth in the sector in the past several years,” says James Fenn...
August 01, 2017
The board of directors of Staples, Inc. has elected Robert E. Sulentic to serve as independent chairman of the board, effective Sunday. Sulentic, president and chief executive officer of CBRE Group, Inc., joined the Staples board in 2007 and most recently served as lead independent director. Ron Sargent, the company’s non-executive chairman, will retire from the board on Saturday. Staples participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945)....
August 01, 2017
Chuck Hammond, president and CEO of supplier Raining Rose, Inc. (PPAI 232508), has been named the recipient of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance’s 2016 Howard Hall Excellence in Business Award. “Chuck’s entrepreneurial spirit and leadership has produced the kind of exponential growth in a company that makes a real and noticeable difference to the regional economy,” says Doug Neumann, interim president and CEO of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “It was apparent to the award se...
August 01, 2017
The demand for non-cash rewards and recognition programs continues to grow and is one of 10 key trends for incentive travel, reward and recognition programs according to the 2017 Trends Study from the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF). “At a time when the pace of economic change continues to accelerate, the IRF is tracking some essential shifts in the industry,” says IRF President Melissa Van Dyke. “The 2017 Trends Study also provides actionable suggestions so that businesses can leverage t...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Picnic Time, Inc. (PPAI 143980) has rebranded as the Picnic Time Family of Brands, citing its growth over the past 35 years and its expansion from a handful of picnic baskets to a broad range of categories. Picnic Time Family of Brands will act as the parent for four new sub-brands that will have their own unique identity: The Picnic Time sub-brand will stay true to the company’s roots with a selection of picnic and wine baskets and picnic totes. Oniva has an active living an...
August 01, 2017
The Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC) has announced its top priorities for 2017—health care, tax reform and infrastructure. These priorities were determined by the SBLC’s Board of Directors. Basing its decision on the new administration and the potential for significant changes to the health care and tax laws, the SBLC reports that its efforts will focus on advocating for reforms that provide simplification and certainty for small businesses and remove burdens that negatively impact s...
August 01, 2017
Bob Southard (center left), recognized as top sales performer at the gala, poses on stage with (from left) HALO CEO Marc Simon, Senior Vice President of Sales Dale Limes and Jim Stutz, executive vice president of sales and business development. At an awards ceremony held at the Four Seasons Las Vegas Hotel in conjunction with The PPAI Expo 2017, HALO Branded Solutions honored the achievements of more than 250 of the Sterling, Illinois, distributor’s top account executives. “It’s an honor ...
August 01, 2017
At its 2017 Winter Summit, held in Las Vegas earlier this month in conjunction with The PPAI Expo, Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664) honored success, facilitated learning, encouraged collaboration and presented its most accomplished community members with its 2016 Top Achieving Sales Awards. Facilisgroup also honored its 2016 Achiever’s Club members, a group of 185 sales reps and teammates with sales that total more than $750,000 annually. “Our summits bring our partners and suppliers together to ca...
August 01, 2017
Charles River Apparel (PPAI 111644) has announced its Colors for a Cause Program, part of the Sharon, Massachusetts-based supplier’s Charles River Cares Initiative. The program uses the company’s best-selling style, the New Englander rain jacket, to help create awareness and raise funds for national and local charities. “Our mission is to create a community and environment that is passionate about giving back,” says Barry Lipsett, CEO/owner of Charles River Apparel. “For a family-owned compan...
August 01, 2017
The festivities leading up to Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump begin today with an all-day concert at the Lincoln Memorial. And in Washington, D.C., and across the country, promotional products are playing a big role in how Americans are recognizing and marking the event. Distributor ACE Specialties (PPAI 641972), based in Lafayette, Louisiana, operated Trump’s online store throughout the campaign and continues to oversee it. The site has added an inauguration category, a...
August 01, 2017
Supplier J. America, Inc. (PPAI 351699), headquartered in Fowlerville, Michigan, has signed a definitive merger agreement with Top of the World, LLC, a Norman, Oklahoma-based provider of licensed collegiate headwear in the U.S. The merger creates a single company, and is planned to close by the end of January. Jeff Fenech, co-founder of J. America, will lead the new company’s Wholesale Blanks division, which supplies products under the J. America label to wholesale distributors and decorators...
August 01, 2017
Supplier SnugZ USA, Inc. (PPAI 112982) has acquired SoulKix, LLC, an Orem, Utah-based producer of custom-printed shoes. SoulKix was launched in October 2015, and its products have found an audience with corporate clients and on college campuses. “We are pleased to be acquired by SnugZ, which really has the capacity to grow the business to its full potential,” says Terry McEwen, who founded SoulKix along with Mason McEwen. Brandon Mackay, MAS, president of West Jordan, Utah-based SnugZ USA,...
August 01, 2017
Arthur Bartell, group president of Denver, Colorado, distributor Brand Agents, Inc. (PPAI 268947), passed away January 11. He was 85. Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and a graduate of the University of Georgia, Bartell spent six decades in the promotional products industry. His work was widely recognized as well. He won 13 Clio Awards, 24 PPAI Pyramids and a national Addy Award from the Advertising Federation of the United States during his career. And in 2012, he provided the promotional products ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s Fellows Program welcomes 14 members to the class of 2017. These individuals, along with the 2016 class, were recognized at the Volunteer Leadership Day Luncheon during The PPAI Expo. The Fellows Program, introduced in Summer 2016, is a way to thank and recognize influential individuals who have actively supported the industry through personal involvement, and contributed to a culture of engagement, involvement and leadership throughout the Association. Recognized as 2017 PPAI Fellows a...
August 01, 2017
Distributor The Perfect Promotion, LLC (PPAI 337875) was selected for the 2016 Best of Hartford Award in the Promotional Products Supplier category by the Hartford Award Program. Each year, the Hartford Award Program identifies companies that have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. The Hartford Award Program, an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses through the Hartford area, recognizes local...
August 01, 2017
The 55th annual PSI Show wrapped last week after bringing a strong mix of exhibitors and attendees to Düsseldorf, Germany. Running January 10-12, 2017, the show attracted members of the promotional products industry from Germany, across Europe and around the world. Reed Exhibitions, the PSI Show’s organizers, report a six-percent increase in exhibitors compared to last year and a nearly eight-percent increase in attendees. The 2017 event featured 988 exhibitors, up from 932 in 2016, and 18,09...
August 01, 2017
Dunkin’ Donuts is recalling approximately 8,300 glass tumblers sold in the company’s stores from September to November 2016. The tumblers were sourced by a distributor through supplier Moderne Glass (PPAI 112536) in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Dunkin’ Donuts has received 19 reports of the tumblers cracking or breaking; no injuries have been reported. Moderne Glass did not manufacture or design the products; rather, it arranged for their production by a reputable glass manufacturer in China, purs...
August 01, 2017
Brands are directing a growing share of their advertising dollars toward social media. Media technology company 4C reports that in the U.S, advertisers’ fourth quarter 2016 spending on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest grew 65 percent, year-over-year, and was up 43 percent compared to the previous quarter. Leading this growth is Instagram. Advertisers’ year-over-year spending on the Facebook-owned picture-sharing platform grew 138 percent in fourth quarter. More than 600 mi...
August 01, 2017
Gordon Sinclair (PPAI 111537) is investing $5 million in a new production facility in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, in a move that will more than double its capacity with all new state-of-the-art production and decorating technology. The expanded plant and warehouse will be fully operational in second quarter 2017. “Thanks to the great support from our loyal distributor customers,” says Gordon Sinclair Founder and CEO Robert Gluck, “we have outgrown our current facility. We’re thrilled to mak...
August 01, 2017
Leigh Joseph, strategic director, alphabroder (center), holds the company's Supplier of the Year award, with (from left) Natalie Ehredt, supplier relations, HALO; Marc Simon, CEO, HALO; Joe DeVault, senior vice president of strategic accounts, alphabroder; Amanda Schreck, supplier relations, HALO; Terry McGuire, senior vice president of marketing and supplier relations, HALO; and Dan Pantano, president, alphabroder.   HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) presented its 2016 Supplier o...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Promo Direct (PPAI 462719) has a received a Gold Award from TopTenReviews, topping its list of promotional product online stores for 2016. This is the third consecutive year that Promo Direct has received the honor. TopTenReviews, an online review site for products, services and software, performs an analysis of companies based on categories such as pricing, production, item selection, shipping, and help and support. Promo Direct received the highest rating (9.83 of 10), placing i...
August 01, 2017
The Expo gave attendees a close-up look at nearly 1,300 exhibiting companies in more than 3,100 booths. The PPAI Expo 2017 wraps up at 3 pm today, bringing its 15th year at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to a strong and successful conclusion. With nearly 1,300 exhibiting companies on-site in more than 3,100 booths, an extensive lineup of education sessions and world-class speakers, and innovative new events to connect with colleagues, Expo 2017 offered something for everyone. “Year af...
August 01, 2017
In Monday’s first commonsku University session, suppliers learned ways to make the most of the platform that helps connect them to industry distributors. Mark Graham, commonsku co-founder and chief platform officer, led the 50-minute session, sharing the basics of commonsku with supplier attendees to help them better interact with users of the customer relationship management and order management system, which doubles as a social network for industry members. “This is a $300 million networ...
August 01, 2017
On Monday, nearly 110 golfers took to the greens at the Bali Hai Golf Club for the Glen Holt Scholarship Golf Tournament, supporting the Promotional Products Education Fund (PPEF). The tournament honors the late Glen Holt, MAS, a former PPAI board member and Hall of Fame inductee who passed away in 2010, and supports his lasting legacy with a PPEF scholarship named in his honor. Comprised of 27 teams, participants competed for bragging rights and prizes. The first-place team included Emman...
August 01, 2017
Generation Z, whose oldest members are in their late teens, represents a unique challenge to marketers, reports Kantar Millward Brown. The firm’s study, “AdReaction: Engaging Gen X, Y and Z,” found the group, which represents approximately two billion people globally, is more digitally savvy than previous generations and also more difficult to engage—among people who skip ads, they skip three seconds faster per ad on average than Gen X. Kantar Millward Brown’s study analyzed key media consump...
August 01, 2017
HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) has announced the recipients of its Fall 2016 Scholarship contest. Applicants for the contest, open to high school seniors and currently enrolled college students, responded to an essay prompt on specific marketing topics and were required to carry a minimum 3.5 cumulative GPA. The contest’s first prize, a $1,500 scholarship, was awarded to Noah Reeves, a high school senior from Alba, Texas, who plans on attending Texas A&M University in the fall. The ...
August 01, 2017
By the time he was 16, Johnny Earle had run more than a dozen amateur businesses, from lemonade stands, yard sales and neighborhood haunted houses to doing magic tricks at kids’ birthday parties. A lifelong prankster with a quirky bent and a love of life, after high school Earle decided to flex his already-experienced entrepreneurial muscle. He made pens to sell at craft fairs and fleece scarves to keep friends warm during Boston winters, but he found he had a knack for making imaginative t-shir...
August 01, 2017
Research suggests that increasingly, consumers want brands to show that they’re willing to earn their business. Research from digital agency Wunderman found that 79 percent of American consumers ages 18 to 65 say that brands must actively demonstrate “they understand and care about me” before they consider purchasing. Wunderman’s findings, the firm says, point to a shift from traditional marketing, which has primarily focused on developing consumer loyalty to brands, to a model in which brand...
August 01, 2017
Reciprocity Road’s Rod Brown, MAS, CFO of MadeToOrder (left) and Jeremy Lott, president of SanMar, present a check for PPEF to Sara Besly, PPEF Foundation manager and Pat Dugan, MAS, PPEF chair, during The PPAI Expo. Reciprocity Road, an industry buying group that is celebrating its one-year anniversary this week at The PPAI Expo, made a $7,500 donation to the Promotional Products Education Foundation at its breakfast meeting this morning. Pat Dugan, MAS, PPEF chair and Sara Besly, PPEF Foun...
August 01, 2017
Distributor thumbprint in Apopka, Florida, has acquired Miami-based LOI Marketing (PPAI 282589), expanding the company’s influence in South Florida. Thumbprint has been in business for the past 22 years, providing print, promotional, apparel, direct mail, signage, inventory, shipment and storage solution services. “We found that our clients needed a resource to help them make sense of all of their ordering and inventory needs, while maintaining their brand across multiple locations and even i...
August 01, 2017
Great suppliers are integral to the success of a distributor’s work. The Supplier Star Awards, presented Tuesday at the PPAI Block Party & Awards Presentation in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, were awarded to those members who demonstrate consistent excellence in service, decorating, problem resolution and product quality. Congratulations to this year’s winners. New PPAI Supplier Member STAR - 4over, LLC MERIT - L And L Promos $250,001 - $500,000 STAR - A+ Wine Designs $1,000,001 - ...
August 01, 2017
Self-promotion is key to growing any business. During Tuesday night’s PPAI Block Party & Awards Presentation, the recipients of the PPAI Image Award were honored for the best in creative and successful self-promotion campaigns that stood out in effectively marketing their brands, products and services. Congratulations to the following winners: Distributor - Branding Gold – Strategies, Ltd. Silver - Elevate Brand Marketing Bronze - Your Brand Marketing Supplier - Branding Gold - ...
August 01, 2017
At Tuesday night's PPAI Block Party & Awards Presentation, the Association and the industry honored 25 companies with the PPAI Pyramid Award for their outstanding use of promotional products. The Pyramid Awards represent promotional excellence by spotlighting distributors’ creative use of promotional products for a variety of client programs and initiatives. This year’s recipients were recognized for their accomplishments in 14 categories reflecting business-to-business and consumer campa...
August 01, 2017
Great technology, combined with creative communication, is the hallmark of effective content marketing and sales. The PPAI Technology Awards, delivered at Tuesday night’s Block Party & Awards Reception at the Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, recognized PPAI members whose blogs, podcasts, websites, social media, mobile apps and e-commerce sites stood out for their excellence. Congratulations to the following winners: Blogs/Podcasts/Digital News - Business Services SILVER - Promo Marketing B...
August 01, 2017
The work of 26 supplier companies was celebrated Tuesday night at the PPAI Block Party and Awards Presentation in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J. Categories ranged from embroidery and sublimation to large format printing and castings. Congratulations to the following companies—winners of the 2017 PPAI Supplier Achievement Awards. Client Sales & Marketing Aids Gold - BIC Graphic USA Silver - Artistic Toy Manufacturing, Inc. Distributor Sales & Marketing Aids Gold - Spector & Co Sil...
August 01, 2017
Tuesday night’s first-ever PPAI Block Party in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J was an evening full of lively conversations and networking. At its center was PPAI’s Walk of Fame Awards Presentation where PPAI recognized exceptional individuals and companies for their innovation and creative excellence in these categories: Supplier Achievement, Technology, Pyramid and Image Awards. The winners of the coveted Supplier Star Awards, voted on by distributors, highlighted the night. After the awards ceremo...
August 01, 2017
Those who attended Tuesday’s Keynote Luncheon were treated to a fireside chat between Mark Graham, founder of distributor RIGHTSLEEVE (PPAI 221036), chief platform officer of commonsku and chef at PromoKitchen, and Norm Hullinger, CAS, CEO of industry apparel supplier alphabroder (PPAI 156993), the industry’s first billion-dollar company. Graham’s questions for Hullinger ranged from the personal to the professional, starting with values. He asked Hullinger what three values he felt were most ...
August 01, 2017
They say it’s tough to reinvent the wheel—and that it probably shouldn’t be done—but promotional products survive precisely because they are reinvented, reimagined and reinvigorated to wow new generations of recipients year after year. When the show floor opened Tuesday to thousands of eager attendees, the exhibitors on site were prepared to wow them with their own innovative, stylish and purposeful products. Among the trends spotted at The PPAI Expo were cork products outside the kitchen, su...
August 01, 2017
When The PPAI Expo ends at 3 pm on Thursday, it will be the beginning of efforts to collect hundreds of products donated by generous exhibitors to benefit the Kids In Need Foundation. Since 1995, the Kids In Need Foundation has worked to ensure that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free classroom essentials to underprivileged schools across the nation. To do that, the organization needs help from companies like those who attend and exhibit at The PPAI Expo. For the...
August 01, 2017
This evening the fun is at LAX in Luxor Las Vegas, as PPAI and SAGE host The PPAI Expo’s Power of Two Party. Located in one of the best venues in Las Vegas, The Power Of Two Party is hands-down the most talked about industry event on the strip. Running from 7:30 to10:30 pm, the evening offers a night of DJ entertainment and dancing. Available to Expo attendees and open to guests 21 or older, tickets to the Power of Two Party are $25/person (prices will increase at the door) and include two dr...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Gildan Activewear, Inc. (PPAI 250187) announced today that it has emerged as the winner in the court-supervised auction to acquire the American Apparel brand and certain assets from American Apparel, LLC (PPAI 223870). The transaction is subject to bankruptcy court approval on Thursday, and Gildan anticipates completing the acquisition by early February. As previously reported by PPB Newslink in November 2016, Gildan entered into an asset purchase agreement with American Apparel that...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Fey Promotional Products Group (PPAI 113944) announced today that it has acquired the assets of Cape Girardeau, Missouri, supplier Magna-Tel, Inc. (PPAI 111514). “This acquisition brings together two long-standing suppliers of promotional products,” says Mike Fey, president of Edgerton, Minnesota-based Fey Promotional Products Group, “We truly are excited to have the opportunity to align ourselves with a company such as this that has a long standing reputation of the highest product ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Ball Pro (PPAI 112763), headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has acquired Normal, Illinois-based supplier Diversified-Adtee (PPAI 113710). “Ball Pro has been looking for product lines the past few years to broaden our offerings,” says Ball Pro President Tim Hanson, MAS. “Diversified-Adtee sells quality kitchenware and golf products. The golf products fit nicely into Ball Pro’s current offerings. Golfers, more than ever, are looking for products such as drinkware, steak knives, g...
August 01, 2017
PromoKitchen, the industry’s leading nonprofit with a mission of mentoring and educating new people in the industry, brought together industry members at its reception Monday night at the House of Blues in the Mandalay Bay Hotel. The theme of the night was “Dropping Knowledge Bombs” and attendees were encouraged to write down nuggets of wisdom on special cards that were then collected and thrown into the crowd. The cards could be turned in for the night’s featured signature drink, the Knowledge ...
August 01, 2017
SAGE announced a number of updates Monday at the SAGE Conference, held in conjunction with The PPAI Expo 2017. The company revealed an upcoming new release of its flagship research and business management solution, SAGE Online, as well as new features in SAGE Websites. SAGE Online 12.5 includes a host of new features including a new Q&A section to ask the community and suppliers questions about products; multiple product images showing alternate colors and angles; simplified search views ...
August 01, 2017
Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), an independent, non-governmental accreditation organization dedicated to helping promotional products companies provide safe products, has expanded its Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) with the addition of Franklin, Tennessee-based Blink Marketing, Inc. (PPAI 242202). The DAC mission is to elevate the standards by which firms that import and/or manufacture products are consistently delivering safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally co...
August 01, 2017
Printgraphics, a subsidiary of Midlothian, Texas-based supplier Ennis, Inc. (PPAI 280026), has moved select manufacturing equipment from its Vandalia, Ohio, location to its Nevada, Iowa, facility. Due to the equipment expansion, Printgraphics Iowa has relocated to a larger manufacturing facility a few miles away at 1235 N Avenue, Suite 201, still located in Nevada, Iowa. Printgraphics pursued the equipment relocation as some orders received at either of its locations required portions to be c...
August 01, 2017
Industry members came out early Monday morning to put some miles under their running shoes, spend time with industry colleagues and raise funds in support of industry member Tee Hamilton, who is fighting cancer. SuccessFit4Life!, hosted by e-publication FreePromoTips.com, was introduced at The PPAI Expo 2015 as an ongoing program that presents information on how fitness affects personal lives and business success. Its 2017 Fun Run/Walk drew more than 20 participants. “Walking in the SuccessFi...
August 01, 2017
Margie Price, MAS Long-time industry leaders Margie Price, MAS, and Joel Schaffer, MAS, were inducted into the PPAI Hall of Fame on Monday night during the Chairman’s Leadership Dinner at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. Joined by their family members and many industry friends who were on hand to celebrate, Price and Schaffer were honored for their many years of service to PPAI and the industry as former members of PPAI’s Board of Directors and numerous committees, and for their years of leade...
August 01, 2017
Joe Scott Monday night’s Chairman’s Leadership Dinner was also the setting to honor Joe Scott with the PPAI Distinguished Service Award and H. Wayne Roberts with the PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award. The Distinguished Service Award is PPAI’s highest honor recognizing industry volunteerism, and Scott, president of distributor Scott & Associates, has proven himself worthy over the years with countless contributions to PPAI and the industry. He began his volunteer efforts writing ...
August 01, 2017
Alongside last night’s honors at the Chairman’s Leadership Dinner, PPAI celebrated distinguished industry legends through the Promotional Products Pioneers recognition program. The 2017 Promotional Products Pioneers recipients were the late A.C. Stewart, founder of Souvenir, Inc., and Stan Breckenridge, MAS, past chair of the PPAI Board of Directors and former senior vice president of sales for supplier Mastercraft Decorators/The Guildlines; and in a collective recognition, the road warriors of ...
August 01, 2017
From disruptive technology to dialing back stress, Monday’s Power Keynote presentations at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas addressed the hot-button issues that have attendees wondering how they’ll survive a digital evolution while managing the daily grind without suffering from burnout—or worse, missing out on opportunities for positive change. Brian Solis Silicon Valley analyst Brian Solis told his audience that the customer experience is evolving quickly because of technology, which influenc...
August 01, 2017
The PPAI Expo offered Monday keynote luncheon speaker David Avrin something more than most of his speaking gigs. A marketing professional himself, Avrin is sticking around until Tuesday to take to the trade-show floor to find what products and ideas the industry has to offer that he can incorporate into his own business. Avrin, president of The Visibility Coach, session shared insights based on the discussion he launched in his book, It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You. Marketing...
August 01, 2017
The first-ever PPAI Block Party, tonight from 5:30 to 10:30 pm in Mandalay Bay Ballroom J, promises to be an evening full of great conversations, food and entertainment. One of the evening’s featured events is PPAI’s Walk of Fame Awards Presentation, when the best in several competitions, including Supplier Achievement, Technology, Pyramid, Image and Supplier Star Awards will be celebrated. The winners of the coveted Supplier Star Awards, voted on by distributors, will highlight the night. Wi...
August 01, 2017
Chris Turner (left) receives the Robert L. Scott Memorial Award from Wally Richards on behalf of Imprint Canada. Chris Turner, director of sales for North America East at Vancouver, British Columbia, supplier STORMTECH Performance Apparel (PPAI 260245), has been named the 2016 recipient of the Imprint Canada Robert L. Scott Memorial Award. The award was presented January 6 at the Imprint Canada Show in Toronto, Canada. The Robert L. Scott Memorial Award was created to recognize individual...
August 01, 2017
The promotional products industry's largest and longest-running trade show, The PPAI Expo, draws attendees from across the industry and the world. The PPAI Expo has returned to the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas this week, marking its 15th year at the state-of-the-art venue, and drawing thousands of suppliers, distributors, reps and business services companies from across North America and around the globe. The show continues its reign as the promotional products industry’s l...
August 01, 2017
Distributor EmbroidMe (PPAI 240143) will widely expand its services and become known as Fully Promoted, says franchise industry giant United Franchise Group in an announcement made today. The news was revealed last night to the 220 franchisees at the company’s annual convention under way in Las Vegas in conjunction with The PPAI Expo. The company decided on the name change after a significant evaluation of the changing needs of its current EmbroidMe customers around the world, saying it wi...
August 01, 2017
UK-based distributor IPPAG Global Promotions has rebranded as Prominate to better distinguish the company from its parent organization, IPPAG Cooperative. “We sought an identity that better reflected our unique global and local set up, which enables us to draw on regional skill sets and local perspectives,” says Emily Grice, chief client officer. “A much bolder, market leading identity was becoming imperative as we began to satisfy more and more global brands.” Mike Oxley, CEO, adds, “I am...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board reports that company leaders grew more upbeat about their businesses’ prospects in fourth quarter 2016. The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence, which had declined slightly in third quarter 2016, now reads at 65. A reading of more than 50 points reflects more positive than negative responses. “CEO Confidence surged in the final quarter of 2016, reaching its highest level in nearly six years,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board...
August 01, 2017
Lowell Lumpkin, a veteran sales manager with Ennis, Inc., passed away on December 25 in Kettering, Ohio. He was 73. Lumpkin had been with Ennis as a sales manager in the Midwest region since 2004, when the Midlothian, Texas-based distributor acquired Crabar/GBF. His career in the forms design field spanned almost 50 years. “Lowell was one of the most knowledgeable forms industry experts I’ve known,” says Terry Pennington, Ennis vice president of sales.  “He could tell you the best type of ...
August 01, 2017
Recipients of PPAI's Fellows Program, which recognizes and thanks those influential individuals who have actively supported the industry through their personal involvement, gathered on stage during the Volunteer Luncheon. Sunday’s Volunteer Luncheon honored PPAI continuing, retiring and incoming volunteers from 13 committees and advisory groups, along with members of the Regional Association Council Board, Promotional Products Education Foundation Board of Trustees and PPAI Board of Director...
August 01, 2017
Tuesday’s opening general session gives The PPAI Expo attendees a deep dive into brand loyalty with Johnny Cupcakes founder and CEO Johnny Earle. Earle founded what has become a multimillion-dollar t-shirt brand at age 19 out of the trunk of his car. His general session presentation opens Expo with the story of how his success stems from the power of details, experience and loyalty. His journey highlights the fundamental connection between the persona and the brand, and his session delivers c...
August 01, 2017
Tuesday’s keynote luncheon at The PPAI Expo 2017 features a special fireside chat between Mark Graham, CAS, founder of distributor RIGHTSLEEVE (PPAI 221036), chief platform officer of commonsku and chef at PromoKitchen, and Norm Hullinger, CAS, CEO of industry apparel supplier alphabroder (PPAI 156993), the industry’s first billion-dollar company. In a real and honest format, Graham will ask a range of questions that will get at what's really at stake for the industry as seen through the eyes...
August 01, 2017
Want to make the most of your time in Vegas with the least amount of effort? First-timers and old-timers agree: Expo is more rewarding when you can approach it with ease. Take these tips from exhibitors and attendees who have taken a turn or two—or 10—on the show floor: “Here are a few tips I have for traveling to the shows—they’ve worked pretty well for me. First, pack coordinating colors for your wardrobe the entire time you’re going to be at the show. This way you can wear the same shoes a...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Quinn Flags (PPAI 360359), based in Hanover, Pennsylvania, was recognized by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) at its 2016 Expo with an honorable mention for flags in the organization’s Golden Image Competition. “I am very proud of the Quinn Flags team,” says Ryan Halvorsen, chief operations officer. “Our work was compared to the best in the world, and we came out on top. That’s quite an accomplishment!” More than 70 companies from around the world entered the compe...
August 01, 2017
As reported Friday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, Braintree, Massachusetts-based Hub Pen Company (PPAI 110772), one of the largest suppliers of promotional writing instruments in the U.S., has acquired New Ulm, Minnesota-based supplier Beacon Promotions (PPAI 113702) in a deal that was finalized in late December. A news release announcing the acquisition states that both companies have long shared a common foundation, rooted in best-in-class service and quick turnaround times that hav...
August 01, 2017
Chocolate Inn/Taylor & Grant has acquired Denver, Colorado, supplier AmuseMints (PPAI 134448) and completed a six-month move into a larger facility in Hicksville, New York, to support its expanded operations. The relocation expands Chocolate Inn’s footprint from 50,000 square feet to 140,000 square feet. “Newly acquired capabilities plus our acquisition of AmuseMints necessitated the need for additional space,” says David Miller, president of Chocolate Inn. “It concludes in Chocolate Inn ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Royal Industries (PPAI 113838) in Brooklyn, New York, has acquired supplier DLX Industries, Inc. (PPAI 113716) and the Paulmay Company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “The acquisition of the DLX Industries and the Pamcolite Line is a perfect complement to Royal’s line,” says Ari Ruden, vice president of Royal. “It includes vinyl specialties from card cases to clipboards, portfolios to pocket planners, as well as unique imported items that were added from last year’s acquisitio...
August 01, 2017
(From left) Power Keynote Speakers Colette Carlson, Ryan Estis and Brian Solis. Monday, the popular Power Keynotes return to The PPAI Expo with three engaging speakers whose compelling outlooks and ideas will help audiences grow and expand their businesses, change their outlooks on life and careers, and develop professionally and personally. The Power Keynotes are a fresh take on Expo’s general session that left audiences impressed at The PPAI Expo 2016. On Monday afternoon, in Mandalay B...
August 01, 2017
Are you ready to grow your business? Focus first on your brand, says David Avrin. Avrin, president of The Visibility Coach, will share insights in Monday’s keynote luncheon at The PPAI Expo 2017 on recognizing and promoting a competitive advantage while building your brand identity to become a leader in your industry category. Building on the discussion he launched in his book, It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Knows You, Arvin will present in an eye-opening, energetic and entertaining style to...
August 01, 2017
Ensuring accurate and complete product orders is a top priority for both distributors and suppliers, yet many of the current industry procedures are fraught with opportunities for errors, frustration and, ultimately, order delays and extra costs. On Monday, January 9 from 1:30 to 2:30, the PPAI Distributors Committee presents a panel discussion focused on delivering dozens of best practices to ensure clean, accurate and—best of all—stress-free orders. During the free session, “Stop The Order-...
August 01, 2017
Las Vegas is no longer the largest population center in the U.S. without a major professional sports team. On June 22, 2016 the city, which had nearly 2.2 million people in the 2010 census, was officially awarded an NHL franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights, who take to the ice in October at the new $375 million, 20,000-seat T-Mobile Arena, which opened this past April just off the Las Vegas Strip. The 650,000-square-foot T-Mobile Arena is a privately financed joint venture between Anschutz Ent...
August 01, 2017
Braintree, Massachusetts-based Hub Pen Company (PPAI 110772), one of the largest suppliers of promotional writing instruments in the U.S., has acquired New Ulm Minnesota-based supplier Beacon Promotions (PPAI 113702) in a deal that was finalized in late December. A news release issued today states that both companies have long shared a common foundation, rooted in best-in-class service and quick turnaround times that have helped forge long-lasting partnerships with their respective customer b...
August 01, 2017
Small-business owners are beginning the new year on a positive note, says the Staples National Small-Business Survey. It reports that 85 percent of American small-business owners are “optimistic” about the business climate in 2017. The survey also found that 67 percent of respondents plan to hire employees this year, while 91 percent would be likely to encourage their children to start their own business given the current state of the small-business environment, and 67 percent think business ...
August 01, 2017
Overland Park, Kansas, distributor Incentives International, Inc. (PPAI 105879) has acquired Midwest Premiums and Promotions. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “We’re pleased to welcome Stephen Dudley to the Incentives family,” says Ted Fuehr, president of Incentives International, Inc. “Steve and his team of sales associates and support staff bring extensive experience in serving premium and promotional needs of clients in the Midwest.” For 40 years, Midwest Premiums ...
August 01, 2017
Virtual reality is on the rise while apps are slipping, according to Voices.com’s 2017 Trends Report. Voices.com, which services the voice-over industry, surveyed creative professionals, including content creators, producers, directors, advertising executives, CEOs, business owners and freelancers in North America and identified these key findings: In 2016, 48 percent of respondents said that apps weren't worth producing or relevant to their work. 71 percent of creative professionals pro...
August 01, 2017
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall Minnie and Mickie Mouse infant hoodie sweatshirts due to a choking hazard. About 15,000 hoodies were sold at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida; Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California; and on the Shop Disney Parks mobile app from April 2016 through October 2016. While no injuries have been reported, the snaps on the hoodies can detach, posing a choking hazard to young ch...
August 01, 2017
Nine industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Professional (MAS) or Certified Advertising Professional (CAS) industry certifications in fourth quarter 2016, joining an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to thei...
August 01, 2017
Marketing that puts customers’ needs ahead of business goals boosts consumers’ sentiments, research shows. MarketingSherpa’s Customer Satisfaction Research study found that nearly 60 percent of highly satisfied customers believe that the marketing of a company they are satisfied with "often or always" puts their needs ahead of its own business goals compared to 16.1 percent of highly unsatisfied customers. Nearly 92 percent of satisfied consumers indicate they are likely or very likely to contin...
August 01, 2017
Third quarter 2016 saw U.S advertisers invest $17.6 billion in digital advertising. In its Internet Advertising Revenue Report, the Interactive Advertising Bureau notes that this is the highest third quarter for digital advertising spending on record, and represents a 20-percent increase over the same time period in 2015. It also accounts for a 4.3-percent increase over second quarter 2016. “The momentum of advertising in mobile, digital video and other innovative formats is undeniable,” says...
August 01, 2017
In November 2016, the board of the Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) developed a strategic plan to guide the regional association’s future growth. The 2017-2019 strategic plan includes a refreshed mission, vision and newly developed values that will drive SAAC’s growth and expansion, and its board will use it as the roadmap that grounds the association in its programs, products and services; ultimately redesigning how SAAC functions and operates. The strategic plan was de...
August 01, 2017
Independence, Ohio, distributor Proforma (PPAI 196835) has again joined TOMS, a retailer of shoes, sunglasses, apparel and more, in the retailer’s “One for One” mission. Last year, Proforma supported the program by providing gift cards to all Proforma Support Center team members and with every purchase, a person in need received a critical care item. This year, Proforma took it a step further and has provided local families in need with TOMS gift cards. Now, people who may not typically be able ...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) is hosting an online auction before and during The PPAI Expo 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The auction is now open and will run through 12 pm PST on Thursday, January 12, 2017. Auction donations are still being accepted through January 3  and will help provide funds essential for the future of PPEF's college scholarship programs. PPEF is seeking products, travel or tickets valued at $150 or more. PPEF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Donations are tax d...
August 01, 2017
Distributor SwervePoint, LLC (PPAI 336283), a full-service merchandise agency headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, joined buying group Reciprocity Road, bringing the group’s projected sales for 2017 to over $200 million. Nine businesses now comprise the community known as Reciprocity Road, a consortium of distributors who find resonance around shared values in exceptional design, robust technology, creative merchandising, supporting best-in-class sales teams, and contributing back to their...
August 01, 2017
San Francisco, California, supplier Landway International Corp. (PPAI 243349) is expanding to a larger, state-of-the-art 100,000-square-foot facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. The move will triple the company’s current warehouse capacity and production space. Terry Chen, general manager of Landway, says, “This is the beginning of a very exciting phase in Landway's growth that will carry out a large pipeline of new product, as well as bring about new, efficient technologies that will fulf...
August 01, 2017
Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based distributor Wizard Creations (PPAI 342741) will appear on hit reality show Billion Dollar Buyer with Tilman Fertitta, Tuesday, January 17 at 10 pm EST on CNBC. Billion Dollar Buyer introduces promising companies across the country to one of America’s most successful businessmen: billionaire hospitality mogul Tilman Fertitta, chairman, CEO and sole shareholder of Landry’s Inc. In each episode, Fertitta spends time with two small businesses, sampling their goods, ...
August 01, 2017
Brea, California-based supplier PWS (PPAI 198020) is opening a new 60,000-square foot production and shipping facility in Portland, Tennessee, on January 1, 2017 to better serve East Coast and Midwest customers. According to the company, both new and existing customers will benefit from faster shipping times and lower freight costs on orders that can now ship from the new Tennessee facility. Lyndsey Tidwell, CEO of PWS, predicts double-digit growth and assures that the same level of quality a...
August 01, 2017
Addison, Texas-based SAGE has added new tools, including presentations and virtual sampling capabilities, to the latest version of its mobile app, SAGE Mobile 6.0. The official show planner for The PPAI Expo, the app gives distributors complimentary access to the its full set of trade-show planning features to plan and manage their experience at the show. It is available for both iOS and Android devices. New features in the SAGE Mobile 6.0 release include: More trade-show planning tools,...
August 01, 2017
A lot happened in the promotional products industry over the past year. Looking back at 2016, PPB Newslink has identified its top stories that trace PPAI's and the industry’s most significant accomplishments, news and events in the order in which they took place. Prime Line To Acquire Jetline The PPAI Expo 2016 Unveils New Layout Next Week In Las Vegas GatewayCDI Acquired By UK Firm Brand Addition The PPAI Expo Opens Its 2016 Run In Las Vegas The PPAI Expo Draws Thousands Eager To...
August 01, 2017
Throughout the month, PPB Newslink has provided a comprehensive list of suppliers’ holiday hours and closures. The following list includes all updates received as of today. PPAI offices will be closed January 2. 365 Wholesale (PPAI 274032) December 22-January 4, Closed for the holidays and annual inventory. Urgent questions can be answered via e-mail. A+ Wine Designs (PPAI 173549) December 30, Open 8 am – 1 pm, PST January 2, Closed Alexander (PPAI 113670) January 2, Closed All-I...
August 01, 2017
Supplier 4 Sizzle, based in Stateline, Nevada, has issued a recall of approximately 1,700 promotional barrel grills after receiving reports of two grills catching fire. No injuries were reported. The charcoal grills were manufactured in China and were used as giveaways to consumers as well as items for charity auctions. They were also distributed to retail, liquor, convenience and other stores as promotional display enhancers between November 2015 and October 2016. The grills feature a Shock ...
August 01, 2017
Midlothian, Texas, supplier Ennis, Inc. has released its financial results for the three and nine months ended November 30, 2016. The financial overview is for the continuing operation of the company, which is comprised of the production and sale of business forms and other business products, and it excludes the discontinued operations of the former Alstyle apparel segment. The company’s net sales for the third quarter ended November 30, 2016, were $88.7 million compared to $97.5 million for ...
August 01, 2017
Special Service Partners (SSP), a subsidiary of Ennis, Inc. located in Neenah, Wisconsin, has introduced a new logo. The diamond logo has been replaced with a tag/label combination to reflect the company’s specialization in tag and label solutions. The new logo will appear soon on various company assets, including all advertising and the company website. SPP was acquired by Ennis in 2014. Old Logo   New Logo   Additionally, SPP plans to roll out a new online solution i...
August 01, 2017
FreePromoTips.com is hosting its annual SuccessFit4Life! Fun Run/Walk during The PPAI Expo 2017. The free event will take place at 7 am Monday, January 9, and includes a stop at the Welcome To Las Vegas sign. This year’s run is dedicated to an industry member currently battling cancer. Click here for more information on the event. Participants at last year's SuccessFit4Life! Fun Run/Walk at The PPAI Expo.
August 01, 2017
Lou McCormick Jr., owner of ADCO Associates and a longtime member of Philadelphia Area Promotional Products Association (PAPPA), passed away December 16. A funeral Mass was held December 23. McCormick began working in the industry as an employee of Jack Binswanger before moving to the Dubbs Company and then ADCO, which he eventually purchased. McCormick’s son, Lou McCormick III, says, “My dad loved the industry, and he forged many close friendships with the people he worked with.” McCormic...
August 01, 2017
The Arizona Promotional Products Association (AzPPA) has selected 11 local business people to serve on the AzPPA 2017 Board of Directors effective January 1, 2017. Melissa Hoffman “We are delighted to have a full complement of 11 board members as we move into 2017,” says Melissa Hoffman, 2016 President of AzPPA. “The gifts that each one brings to the table will be beneficial to the Association and all of our members.” The 2017 board members are: Nancy Gosewisch, President – Owner, B...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Beacon Promotions, Inc. (PPAI 113702) of New Ulm, Minnesota, has broken its previous record for donations in support of the Brown County United Way, which funds programs for education, health, self-sufficiency and basic needs. United Way representatives delivered a presentation to Beacon employees about the Imagination Library program and the Children’s Special Needs Camping Project. Employees purchased raffle tickets and participated in a silent auction/bake sale; 70 employees contr...
August 01, 2017
Consumers’ enthusiasm for wearable devices may be slowing, reports marketing research firm eMarketer. In October 2015, it forecast wearables usage to climb 60 percent in 2016. It has since revised its expectations for the year, and now expects the category to grow by a more modest 24.7 percent, as interest, particularly in smart watches, slows. eMarketer expects 39.5 million U.S. adults to have used a wearable at least once a month in 2016. This is well below the 63.7 million users that it ha...
August 01, 2017
Security researchers White Ops have uncovered a digital advertising fraud operation that is stealing as much as $3–$5 million per day from U.S. brand advertisers and media companies. The fraud, which White Ops has dubbed “The Methbot Operation” after references to “meth” in the bot’s code, is believed to have stolen $180 million so far. The Russia-based Methbot Operation has been targeting premium programmatic video inventory, generating as much as 200-300 million non-human impressions per da...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. has listed the Taobao.com e-commerce platform, a unit of China’s Alibaba Group, on its 2016 Notorious Markets List, a blacklist of physical and online markets around the world that are reported to be engaging in and facilitating substantial copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting. “Tens of millions of American jobs and several trillion dollars of our gross domestic product rely on American creative and innovative industries,” says United States Trade Representative (USTR) Micha...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands has entered into definitive agreements to sell its Australian Dunlop Flooring and Tontine pillow businesses. The businesses are noncore operations acquired as part of the company’s July 2016 purchase of Pacific Brands Limited of Australia. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138). Hanes is selling the business and assets of Dunlop Flooring in an all-cash transaction for AUD34 million (US$25 million) to UK-based Victoria...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Partners N Promotion (PPAI 438412) in Olathe, Kansas, has acquired Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based Brilliant Impressions. The employees of both companies will be retained by the merged firm. “The acquisition of Brilliant Impressions expands our client base as well as our physical facilities, and will diversify our range of services,” says Vicki Clayman, Partners N Promotion’s owner. “We are excited to be working with Brilliant Impressions’ clients and look forward to serving them wi...
August 01, 2017
Sgt. Brian Morales (center) of the Irving Police Department visited PPAI headquarters on Friday to collect the more than $1,600 in toys and funds staff had donated to the Irving Police and Fire Blue Christmas Organization and meet with Association staff. PPAI staff hosted a holiday fundraising event on December 14 to support the Irving Police and Fire Blue Christmas organization, which gathers and distributes new toys and food to families in need at Christmas within the City of Irving, Texas...
August 01, 2017
Suppliers Discount Labels (PPAI 113449) and Lancer Label (PPAI 113765) have announced a merger, effective January 1, 2017. The company will move forward as Discount Labels and will become a single source provider for its network of resellers. “We have been in a strategic partnership for many months,” says Eric Lanz, senior vice president. “Our customers are excited by our enhanced capabilities, streamlined customer service and expanded footprint. We’re going to build on this excitement to bri...
August 01, 2017
Tennessee’s Sevier County has received a federal disaster declaration following the destructive wildfires in the area in late November and early December. The Business Recovery Fund (BRF), supported by PPAI and the Regional Association Council (RAC), stands ready to help the area’s promotional products industry companies in need. If the recent fires have had an impact on an industry business, the Business Recovery Fund might be able to help. Funds are available to help companies in the promot...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Logomark (PPAI 110898) has launched its Resolution Revolution campaign, which is running for 10 weeks from November to January and aims to empower customers to set goals and achieve them in 2017. From "resolving to spend more time in the great outdoors," to "resolving to take the next steps in my career," to "resolving to feed my inner party animal," Logomark will be sharing its favorite resolutions and its products that can support journeys to success. Those who sign up and share th...
August 01, 2017
Emmett Ross, former vice president of marketing of Hazel, Inc. (PPAI 114161) and a past chair of the PPAI Board of Directors, passed away on December 8 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. He was 81. During his career in the promotional products industry—he also served on Hazel’s board of directors—Ross was active in a number of professional organizations. He served on PPAI’s board for five years, with his term as chair in 1985, and was a member of National Premium Sales Executives and the St. Louis Adver...
August 01, 2017
Ronald Gayland Wardell, of distributor Wardell Enterprises (PPAI 109414) in Plano, Texas, passed away on May 27 of complications from lymphoma. He was 70. Wardell’s successful sales career included a 20-year tenure with Conwed Corporation, a Weyerhaeuser company, and a number of national sales awards. He later joined his wife, Jan, in the family business, Wardell Enterprises, where he built a successful 31-year career in the promotional products industry. An avid bass tournament fisherman ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Charles River Apparel (PPAI 111644) has donated 2,900 jackets to Christmas In The City, a Boston, Massachusetts-area organization that helps homeless children and their families. “We are so appreciative of this generous donation which will provide warmth to nearly 3,000 adults and children this winter,” says Jake Kennedy, founder of Christmas In The City. “In the five years since we’ve gotten to know Charles River Apparel, they have truly modeled what care in our local community shou...
August 01, 2017
Halls & Company's Zach Zinder helps unload the supplier's food donation to North-Suburban Emergency Assistance Response. Halls & Company (PPAI 111778), manufacturer of ID Line, raised a total of $4,130 for local Minneapolis food shelves. While donations were given to three different food shelves, most went to the North-Suburban Emergency Assistance Response (NEAR) located in Crystal, Minnesota. “We feel it is important to give back to our local community,” says Janet Adams, presid...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Queensboro (PPAI 667214) in Wilmington, North Carolina, has announced that it will donate one percent of all sales through the end of the year to Dolly Parton’s My People Fund to aid families and communities that have been affected by the wildfires in Tennessee. The fires broke out the day before Thanksgiving and with the state suffering from drought conditions, spread to Gatlinburg and the Pigeon Forge area. While the flames have been subdued, the fire claimed several lives and h...
August 01, 2017
Consumer sentiment showed a sharp uptick following the 2016 election, report the University of Michigan (U-M) Surveys of Consumers. The post-election Sentiment Index was 8.2 points above the November pre-election reading, producing an index 6.6 points higher for the entire month. The Sentiment Index was 93.8 in the November 2016 survey, up from 87.2 in October and 91.3 in November 2015. U-M found the post-election surge in optimism among all income and age subgroups and across all regions of ...
August 01, 2017
Using human beings to provide customer service may be on its way out. A survey of American consumers found a growing acceptance of automated customer service interaction. Forty-four percent of respondents taking part in Aspect Software’s 2016 Aspect Consumer Experience Index said that if a company could get it right they would prefer to use a chatbot or an automated assistant for customer service interaction, up four points from the 2015 survey. Half of respondents said that they would rather co...
August 01, 2017
5 Star Promotional Advertising of Edmonton, Alberta, has joined Facilisgroup (PPAI 493664), a community of promotional products distributors. 5 Star recently merged with Morie Promotional Group (PPAI 216702), also located in Edmonton. Morie has been a Facilis Partner for 10 years and as the two companies consolidated operations, 5 Star decided to continue Morie’s previous relationship with Facilisgroup. “As our business grows, we are excited to take advantage of the technology, buying powe...
August 01, 2017
Staples, Inc. has received a score of 100 percent on the 2017 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation. This is the seventh year in a row Staples has earned 100 percent on the CEI. Staples participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945). “Staples’ perfect score for the se...
August 01, 2017
Barry Dobbs, industry veteran and president of supplier Z Marketing Group, passed away on December 7 in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. He was 69. Born in the UK, Dobbs came to the U.S. in the 1980s to develop a candy apple business, a field he had been successful with back at home. After a factory fire pushed him into sales, Dobbs joined the promotional products industry with Brown & Bigelow. Finding his calling in sales management, he grew a successful sales force there and later at Geiger. D...
August 01, 2017
On Tuesday, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law, a bipartisan bill supporting the acceleration of new drugs research, investments in medical research and other issues. PPAI lent its support to the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act, part of the larger bill. The Small Business Healthcare Relief Act eliminates a penalty of $100 per day per employee on employers that fail to offer group health plans despite the employer providing tax preferred dollars through a health reimb...
August 01, 2017
In October, PPAI asked Expo attendees to describe their ideal education sessions and topics for The PPAI Expo 2017, to be held next month in Las Vegas, Nevada. Based on their feedback, the Association has added three new sessions to the Expo’s education lineup. Four Cores To A Rockin’ Company Store Company store demand has never been higher and clients are clamoring for successful ecommerce solutions. commonsku Chief Content Officer Bobby Lehew will share the four core components to make eve...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Regional Programs Manager Melissa Weber (center) joined the PPAW board for a strategic planning session in New Berlin, Wisconsin. PPAI Regional Programs Manager Melissa Weber joined the Promotional Products Association of Wisconsin (PPAW) board on Wednesday for a strategic planning session. Held at distributor CSE’s headquarters in New Berlin, Wisconsin, the session included conversations on board optimization procedures, committee development, member recruitment and retention, and othe...
August 01, 2017
BIC Graphic associates delivered the food and funds collected on November 15. BIC Graphic USA associates at the Tampa, Florida-based supplier’s Red Wing, Minnesota, facility collected more than 700 pounds of food and raised $2,100 for the Red Wing Area Food Shelf. The annual food and fund drive is a tradition at BIC Graphic. The Red Wing Area Food Shelf serves an average of 300 households per month. Nearly half of their clients are working individuals and approximately 44 percent are chil...
August 01, 2017
Cimpress, the Dutch parent company of Waltham, Massachusetts, distributor Vistaprint (PPAI 565755), has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire San Diego, California-based distributor National Pen Co. LLC (PPAI 107176). The transaction, first announced Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, is for a purchase price of approximately $218 million and is expected to close as early as end of the month. “Just like business cards, custom pens are a simple yet highly effective way for s...
August 01, 2017
Staples, Inc. will sell a controlling interest in its European operations to an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. Staples’ European business consists of retail, contract and online businesses in 16 countries generating aggregate annual sales of approximately €1.7 billion (approximately $1.8 billion). Staples participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (PPAI 108945). Upon closing of the transaction, the Staples Europe business will...
August 01, 2017
Social media advertising spending is expected to grow 72 percent globally between 2016 and 2019, climbing from $29 billion to $50 billion and nearly catching up with newspaper ad spending. In its latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, advertising and public relations firm Publicis Groupe’s Zenith media agency reports that social media advertising is growing 20 percent per year and will trail newspapers by one percent in 2019—$50.2 billion compared to $50.7 billion. Zenith also notes that soci...
August 01, 2017
In a poll of its members, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has selected “transparency” as the single word that would best represent the U.S. marketing industry in 2016. It attributes the selection to the ANA’s June release of a study that highlighted widespread allegations of various non-transparent business activities by ad agencies and media agencies throughout the U.S. media ecosystem. “It’s no surprise that our members chose transparency as the Marketing Word of the Year,” sa...
August 01, 2017
Seth Barnett, PPAI diversity development and engagement manager (second from right), joins (from left) Jeff Colley, regional sales manager; Venus Thom, tradeshow & national accounts coordinator; Bob Heintz, national accounts manager; Kelsey Cunningham, regional sales manager; Kari Rehder, regional sales manager; Arlen Lea Dau, regional sales manager; and Debbie Remmert, for a roundtable discussion on marketing communication. Last week, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Se...
August 01, 2017
Pantone has named PANTONE shade 15-0343, Greenery, its 2017 Color Of The Year. A yellow-green shade, Pantone says Greenery “evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew” and that it is “illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors.” Greenery follows the 2016 Color of the Year 2016 duo, PANTONE 13-1520, Rose Quartz, a warm rose tone, and PANTONE 15-3919, Serenity, a cool blue. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Co...
August 01, 2017
Business owners have generally grown more optimistic about the national economy in the month since the U.S. election. The Wall Street Journal/Vistage Small Business CEO Survey found that 55 percent say that the election has improved their outlook on the economy, a six-point gain from October and the first month-to-month gain in economic confidence in over a year. Published on a monthly basis, the survey highlights the sentiments from U.S. CEOs and small-business owners in a number of industries....
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index continues its upward climb, picking up steam in November after turning in an increase in October. The index stands at 129.96, up from 128.95 in October and a 2.7-percent gain on its performance a year ago. “The Employment Trends Index is showing some signs of acceleration, suggesting that employment growth will not slow down further in the coming months,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “Moderate employm...
August 01, 2017
Demand generation practices among B2B marketers are shifting toward a more buyer-centric approach, research shows. In its “2016 Enterprise B2B Demand Generation Research Study,” demand generation strategy and change management firm Annuitas found that more organizations are pursuing tactics like using buyer personas and addressing customer pain points. Demand generation refers to using targeted marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in a company's products and/or services. For its re...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Pro Towels (PPAI 112755)  is planning an expansion for its facility in Abbeville County, South Carolina, working in concert with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based company’s expansion at the facility is also expected to bring new jobs to the site. Pro Towels’ 300,000-square-foot Abbeville facility currently employs 150 people. Kevin Nord, owner of the Pro Towels family of companies, says, “We a...
August 01, 2017
Johnny Earle, CEO and founder of multimillion-dollar t-shirt brand Johnny Cupcakes, is bringing a deep dive into brand loyalty to Las Vegas next month as The PPAI Expo 2017’s opening General Session speaker. Earle’s session will highlight the fundamental connection between the persona and the brand, and the power of details, experience and loyalty. And after his presentation, attendees have the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of Earle in a VIP workshop presented by PPAI and PromoKitch...
August 01, 2017
Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (PPAI 133342) has appointed Melissa Burgess-Taylor as the Bowling Green, Kentucky, supplier’s new chairman and CEO. She replaces Rick Medlin, who passed away on November 27. “Rick lived and breathed Fruit of the Loom, and he was an inspirational leader to everyone associated with the company,” says Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Fruit of the Loom parent company Berkshire Hathaway. “He will be greatly missed. His contributions were significant and his legacy will c...
August 01, 2017
Charles D. Sandford, president of supplier BAG MAKERS, Inc. (PPAI 111408), passed away on December 2 following a year-long battle with cancer. He was 70 years old. Chuck, as he was known, joined his wife, Chief Executive Officer Maribeth Sandford, at BAG MAKERS in 1992 and was named president shortly thereafter. He helped steer the company through nearly three decades of rapid growth and success. In a statement issued late Friday, Maribeth said: “I am joined by the entire BAG MAKERS family...
August 01, 2017
Moderate growth of 4.4 percent is expected to push global advertising spending to $547 billion in 2017. Media investment group GroupM points to economic factors across the globe for its forecast of another year of modest growth in advertising as brands continue to be pressured for performance in low-growth environments. It notes that while the U.S presidential election and the UK’s referendum on departing the European Union have not impacted advertising budgets, and China and other “new world” c...
August 01, 2017
In its latest SBLC Report, the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), looks at what the future may hold for the Small Business Healthcare Relief Act. The mission of the SBLC, of which PPAI is a member and for which PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, serves as a board director, is twofold: to make improvements in public policy for small business and to help member associations in their communications with business members. Please note that this weekly is for the sole personal, infor...
August 01, 2017
Brooklyn Heights, Ohio-based Proforma Signature Solutions has merged with Creative Image Advertising (PPAI 104267), a Crowley, Texas, distributor specializing in awards and incentives. Proforma Signature Solutions will service Creative Image Advertising clients from its Arlington, Texas, location. “I’m excited to introduce our clients to the vast marketing capabilities Proforma Signature Solutions will be adding to our product and service offering,” says Linda Campbell, owner of Creative Imag...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Charles River Apparel’s (PPAI 111644) women’s “Logan” jacket has been chosen as one of the items on Oprah’s “O List,” to be featured in the January issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. “What an honor to be selected by one of the most influential women in the world,” says Tracy Lehnen, vice president of marketing for Charles River Apparel. “For a small, family-owned business like Charles River Apparel, having Oprah’s endorsement on one of our styles is incredibly exciting!” This marks t...
August 01, 2017
PPAI welcomed incoming Chair-Elect of the PPAI Board of Directors Dale Denham, MAS+, and RAC Delegate D’Anna Zimmer, CAS, as well as PPAI General Counsel Cory Halliburton to a CEO brown bag lunch on Friday, December 2, to connect with Association staff and discuss the year ahead. President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, introduced the board members in a presentation and invited questions from the staff for the guests. PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, (left) hosts (from left) the A...
August 01, 2017
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the first 10 chemicals it will evaluate for potential risks to human health and the environment under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) as amended by the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. “Under the new law, we now have the power to require safety reviews of all chemicals in the marketplace,” says Jim Jones, assistant administrator of the of Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “We can ens...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS) has reached out to industry businesses in the area affected by the wildfires in Gatlinburg and Sevier County, Tennessee, and while at this time it is not aware of any losses, everyone PPAMS spoke to shared stories of neighbors and family members who weren’t so lucky. With more than 1,000 people left homeless, the regional association is partnering with Randy Philipps of Knoxville-based distributor Access Solutions to collect and donat...
August 01, 2017
For a look into what’s in store for the year ahead, marketing communications service provider J. Walter Thompson’s Innovation Group has released its third annual Future 100 report, taking a broad look at emerging consumer behavior and new opportunities for brands. “Keeping up with shifts in the world today means keeping a pulse on what’s happening, and also anticipating what’s to come,” says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group. “So what makes the 2017 consumer tick? What ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Delta Apparel, Inc. (PPAI 188431) has announced its fiscal 2016 fourth quarter and year-end results, reporting that all of its businesses, with the exception of Junkfood Clothing, experienced sales growth during the fourth quarter, ending October 1. The 2016 fourth quarter comprised 13 weeks while the prior year fourth quarter included an additional 14th week because fiscal year 2015 was a 53-week year. Net sales for the 13-week fiscal 2016 fourth quarter were $114.4 million, compare...
August 01, 2017
Research suggests that marketers are beefing up aggregation of data and pursuing deeper integration of marketing technologies as principal solutions to their cross-channel challenges. A study by The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and strategic consulting firm Winterberry Group found that 72 percent of marketers indicate their organizations are pursuing cross-channel recognition, but only nine percent recognize customers across media channels on a consistent basis. “Marketers recognize...
August 01, 2017
PPB Newslink is collecting a comprehensive list of suppliers’ hours and closures during this holiday season as PPAI has received a number of requests recently regarding industry companies’ schedules. Several industry companies across the country have already provided their schedules, and we are publishing an updated list in PPB Newslink throughout the month of December. Please share your holiday schedule with PPAI News Editor James Khattak at jamesk@ppai.org and we will add your company’s detail...
August 01, 2017
In November, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett participated with  the board of the Three Rivers Advertising Specialty Association (TRASA) to discuss its 2017 strategic plan. Part of a larger strategic discussion, Barnett contributed his insights to the board’s focus on attracting and engaging young professionals in the industry as part of next year’s plan. TRASA, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, intends to host several young professional-friendly events in 2017 a...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s December webinars take a look at customer service best practices and the outcome of the 2016 election. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in December include: Creating Customer Service That Builds A Solid Customer Base December 7, 1 pm CST Post-Election Thoughts and What Could be Next For The Industry December 8, 1 pm CST All of PPAI’s webina...
August 01, 2017
The dinner drew an extensive lineup of the association’s past presidents, including (from left) Londa Pompilio, CAS, who held the office in 2005; John Gallagher, CAS, 2004; Tom Morrow, MAS, 1979; Jon Jackson, 2015; Lisa Bibb, MAS, 1999, 2006-2008; Ken Martasin, CAS, 2003; Marc Morris, 1970; Jack Rosenberg, 1969; 1981; Bill Jones, MAS, 2001; E.B. Scot Roehm, MAS, 1986-1988; Steve Woodburn, MAS, 2000; Michael Griffin, CAS, 2013; Carole Hill, CAS 1989; Eric Carr, 2009-2010; Jeff Stubbs, CAS, 1995;...
August 01, 2017
Promotional Professionals Association of Chicago (PPAChicago) has welcomed Ben Turry of Leader Promotions, Dawn Ruler of Geiger and Matt Staff of Logomark, Inc. to its board of directors, effective January 1, 2017. In addition, Matt Gallegos of Staples, Colleen Krause of Summit Group and Bob Notter return to the board for a second term. The incoming board joined the current PPAChicago board for a day of strategic planning on November 18 in Oak Brook, Illinois, facilitated by PPAI Member Engag...
August 01, 2017
On November 22, East Texas Federal Judge Amos Mazzant granted a preliminary injunction delaying the implementation of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) overtime rule, which had been slated to go into effect on December 1. The Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) new overtime requirements would have raised the maximum salary employees could earn, from $455 per week to $913, while still qualifying for mandatory overtime pay. Mazzant’s motion was granted at the request of 21 states, the U.S. Chamber ...
August 01, 2017
Rick Medlin, president and CEO of supplier Fruit of the Loom, Inc. (PPAI 133342), passed away of natural causes on November 27. He was 68. In a statement, Fruit of the Loom’s leadership team says, “Rick was a special leader and a special person. He was extremely proud of the progress and success we have shared in the last six years. We owe it to his legacy and honor to continue taking this company forward in accordance with his vision. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Medlin family at t...
August 01, 2017
Millennials may not be as homogenous a group as marketers have thought, and research from BBC Advertising suggests that the most affluent 16 percent of the generation have preferences and needs separate from their counterparts. Research in the report “Reaching Affluent Millennials” points to 84 percent of the world’s 943 million Millennials sharing significantly similar beliefs to older generations, and that the characteristics that have been blanketly applied to the Millennial generation most a...
August 01, 2017
Delta Apparel, Inc. (PPAI 188431) has opened a new distribution center in Chicago, Illinois. The new facility enables Greenville, South Carolina-based Delta Apparel to deliver orders to customers in the Midwest within one to two transit days. “We look forward to servicing the Midwest more efficiently,” says Todd Scarborough, president of sales, marketing and merchandising at Delta Apparel. The Chicago distribution center is the sixth location from which Delta inventories and ships product, jo...
August 01, 2017
The Virginia Promotional Products Association (VAPPA) has welcomed Joy Jacobs of BAG MAKERS, Inc. and Ashley Marsee of Heritage Sportswear to its board of directors, effective January 1, 2017. In addition, Ron Baellow of Bright Ideas returns for a second term. The incoming class joined the current VAPPA Board for a day of strategic analysis and planning on November 17 in Richmond. The meeting, which began with the presentation of a letter from Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office congratulating ...
August 01, 2017
Today is the fifth annual #GivingTuesday, which celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy. Held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Businesses, including those that operate in the promotional products industry, are using this holiday season to give back to their communities and to support various charities and causes. Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based HanesBrands, which participates ...
August 01, 2017
Prime Line employees help Bridgeport Rescue Mission distribute Thanksgiving meals. Supplier Prime Line (PPAI 112744) sponsored Bridgeport Rescue Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Project, which provided turkeys, bags of Thanksgiving fixings, and winter coats to more than 3,000 low income families in Fairfield County. Distribution for the Thanksgiving project took place November 16-22 at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where Prime is headquartered. Prime donated 5,000 bags and se...
August 01, 2017
Distributor 4imprint (PPAI 107200) has presented more than 200 charitable organizations with promotional products grants to support awareness, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and retention, education and betterment projects in third quarter 2016 as part of its one by one® charitable program. The in-kind gifts are under the Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based company’s expanded program, which awards two organizations with $500 promotional product grants each business day. The in-kind gifts are used by...
August 01, 2017
PPB Best Multi-Line Rep honorees from 2011-2016. Lisa K. Bennett, LKB Co. John Bennis, Sequel, Inc. Bob Black, The Identity Group Alan Christopher, MAS, DAC Marketing Robert Collins, Collins & Associates, Inc. Lee Ellen Coscia, Themco LLC Mike Dolan, The Identity Group Matt Eysoldt, Eysoldt Marketing Group, Inc. K.C. Fields, K.C. Fieds and Associates, Inc. Tom Flanagan, Flanagan & Associates Kent Getsee, Preferred Lines Scott Hareid, Promo-Connections, Inc Lewie Hunt, The ...
August 01, 2017
In its latest SBLC Report, the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), of which PPAI is a member and for which PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, serves as a board director, offers a quick and candid review of what’s going on in Washington, D.C. The mission of the SBLC is twofold: to make improvements in public policy for small business and to help member associations in their communications with business members. Please note that this weekly is for the sole personal, informational ...
August 01, 2017
November 26 is the seventh annual Small Business Saturday, dedicated to supporting local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods. Results from the fifth annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, from the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, which created Small Business Saturday in 2010, show that more consumers than ever, 58 percent, are aware of the event, up from 55 percent in 2015. The survey also found ...
August 01, 2017
Mobile advertising is catching up with the desktop in marketers’ quest to deliver their messages to the right audience. Nielsen’s Digital Ad Benchmarks and Findings report notes that mobile’s on-target percentage, the percentage of impressions delivered within the target audience out of the total served during the entire campaign, is nearing that of desktop digital advertising. Taken as a whole, digital advertising’s on-target percentage as of second quarter 2016 was 59 percent. Looking at Ni...
August 01, 2017
Exciting changes are coming to the awards program at The PPAI Expo 2017, starting with the first-ever PPAI Block Party on Tuesday, January 10—an evening full of great conversations, food and entertainment. And at its center is PPAI’s Walk of Fame Awards Presentation. A panel of industry judges has evaluated hundreds of entries to find the best of the best in several competitions, including Supplier Achievement, Technology, Pyramid and Image Awards. The winners of the coveted Supplier Star Awards...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in 2016’s final weeks focus on how industry professionals can benefit from their PPAI membership, customer service best practices and the outcome of the 2016 election. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in November and December include: The Ultimate Tour of PPAI Membership: A Closer Look At What Is Included November 30, 1 pm CST Creating...
August 01, 2017
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is hosting a webinar on Wednesday, December 14, on the communication challenges associated with working with overseas production partners. During the webinar, featured CPSC staff will outline the foreign language media and international training and outreach available through the organization, identify what information is available on consumer product safety policy and safety requirements, and what languages the information is available in and ho...
August 01, 2017
The Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) has elected two new members to its board of directors for a two-year term and approved the board’s officer slate for 2017. Bob Levitt, owner of West Hills, California, distributor The Bob Levitt Company, and Craig Weiss, vice president of San Diego, California, distributor Initial Impression, will begin their terms on the board on January 1, 2017. The board officers will also begin their respective one-year terms on January 1. “I a...
August 01, 2017
The Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) new overtime requirements, set to go into effect on December 1, raise the salary amounts employees need to be paid to qualify as exempt, increasing the minimum salary threshold from the current level of $455 per week to $913. Although PPAI has lent its support to bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate that would delay and provide relief for the new rules, promotional products companies are already moving to come into compliance with the change in req...
August 01, 2017
ITR Economics’ third quarter Market Outlook Report for the promotional products industry notes that while up 2.3 percent from the year-ago level, growth has slowed in recent months. However, ITR points to macroeconomic indicators that suggest that 2017 will be better than 2016 for the U.S. economy and most PPAI members. The economic research and consulting firm’s Distributor Market Index registered annual growth of three percent in third quarter, outperforming the Supplier Market Index’s 0.8 ...
August 01, 2017
Most small-business owners market their business online and offline, says a Digital Micro Business Marketing Mix report by Waltham, Massachusetts-based distributor Vistaprint (UPIC: V565755). The company surveyed 1,000 U.S. small-business owners with fewer than 10 employees, micro businesses, and found that 68.5 percent of them address consumers' expectations for access to brands in both the digital and physical worlds. “In conducting this study, we found that more than a quarter (28.9 percen...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Business Development Manager Ellen Tucker and Major Account Manager-East Joel Baker, traveled to Boston, Massachusetts, this week to meet with and learn from companies in the area, including Charles River Apparel (UPIC: CRA), Hub Pen (UPIC: HUBPEN) and iPROMOTEu (UPIC: IPRO9320). While at the Sharon, Massachusetts, offices of Charles River Apparel, Tucker (not pictured) and Baker (right) toured the supplier’s facility with Tradeshow Manager Sean Moore and Vice President of Marketing Tra...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in 2016’s final months focus on how industry professionals can benefit from their PPAI membership and customer service best practices. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in November and December include: The Ultimate Tour of PPAI Membership: A Closer Look At What Is Included November 30, 1 pm CST Creating Customer Service That Builds A S...
August 01, 2017
As first reported Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, supplier Gildan Activewear (UPIC: GILDA381) has entered into an asset purchase agreement to acquire worldwide intellectual property rights related to the American Apparel® (UPIC: AMER9421) brand and certain assets from American Apparel, LLC, for a cash purchase of approximately $66 million. American Apparel voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday. Gildan is also purchasing inventory from American Apparel ...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Raining Rose, Inc. (UPIC: Raini224) has acquired Solar Advertising, Inc. (UPIC: solar), a promotional lip balm supplier based in Fort Collins, Colorado. Solar Advertising’s lip balm offerings, which include Natural LipFusion and Natural SugarBalm, will be incorporated into Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based Raining Rose’s existing product line. All principals and employees of Solar Advertising will join Raining Rose as part of the transition. Raining Rose will extend its reach in the western r...
August 01, 2017
On November 8, California voters approved Proposition 67, a statewide ban on carry-out plastic bags. The ban, which took effect immediately, passed with 52 percent of the vote, and requires consumers at grocery stores, retail stores with a pharmacy, convenience stores, food marts and liquor stores to either bring their own bags or pay at least 10 cents for recycled or reusable bags. “California voters have taken a stand against a deceptive, multimillion-dollar campaign by out-of-state plastic...
August 01, 2017
Essent Corporation (UPIC: essent) has completed the development of a new $2.5 million headquarters. Essent Place is a 10,500-square-foot, state-of-the-art technology research and development center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, that serves as the new corporate center and home for the business services provider. “Essent Place is our continued commitment to Essent customers and colleagues: an innovative R&D center built to facilitate and support the inventive, collaborative, hard-working, and...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Elevate Brand Marketing (UPIC: WEELEVAT) of Dallas, Texas, has been recognized by Texas A&M University as a member of the 2016 Aggie 100, which honors the fastest-growing companies in the world owned or operated by the university’s former students. Elevate Brand Marketing was ranked No. 2 overall and No.1 in North Texas with a compound annual growth rate of 200.5 percent from 2013 through 2015. “We are thrilled to have earned such a high ranking on the Aggie 100 list,” says Je...
August 01, 2017
PPAI and the Australasian Promotional Products Association (APPA) have announced an agreement to use core elements of PPAI’s Promotional Products Work! and Get In Touch! campaigns across Australia and New Zealand. APPA plans to launch the campaigns in those countries in early 2017. The Get In Touch! campaign is designed to increase awareness and enhance the perception of the promotional products industry, as well as communicate the benefits of working with promotional consultants. The overall...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) has named its incoming trustees for the upcoming term. The incoming trustees’ three-year terms begin following the PPEF board meeting at The PPAI Expo 2017. PPEF's incoming trustees include, from left, Anita Emoff, Dana Floyd and David Grobisen. Anita Emoff, Shumsky Promotional CEO of Shumsky Promotional (UPIC: SHUMSKY) and Boost Rewards, Emoff has worked in the promotional products industry for the past 10 years, having joined Shumsky...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. markets have had a rough ride following Tuesday’s election, turning in steep drops and recoveries over the past few days, although they ultimately endured well. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped by as much as 800 points before ending at 257. It showed a strong recovery on Thursday, hitting an intraday high, trading roughly 130 points higher before retreating. The S&P 500 dipped 5 percent after the election, although it too recovered and climbed 1.1 percent. T...
August 01, 2017
Distributor InnerWorkings, Inc. (UPIC: corpedge) has released its financial results for the three months ended September 30, reporting record quarterly revenue with year-to-date gross profits up almost 10 percent. “We have devoted considerable energy to developing our presence in the international markets and new service offerings over the last few years, and the benefits of these investments are becoming more apparent,” says Eric D. Belcher, chief executive officer of InnerWorkings. “With th...
August 01, 2017
Sweda Company, LLC (UPIC: SWEDA) has announced an exclusive partnership with Eagle Creek to offer its full line of luggage, packing organizers and travel system in the promotional products industry. Eagle Creek’s products will be available through the City of Industry, California, supplier beginning January 1, 2017. “We have been fortunate in the past six years to secure premiere brands by selecting only those partners that share our ideals, quality standards and innovative style,” says Kelli...
August 01, 2017
Marketers are struggling with their social media strategies, reports digital marketing firm Regalix. Among the marketers its “State of B2B Social Media Marketing 2016” study surveyed, 67 percent reported challenges associated with assessing the effectiveness of social media campaigns for business outcomes, and 50 percent said they have difficulties generating actionable insights from social data. While nearly 15 percent of companies in the Regalix study still do not invest in social media mar...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series continues through 2016’s final months, with sessions focusing on customer service and how industry professionals can benefit from their PPAI membership. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Sessions are free to PPAI members. Upcoming webinars in November and December include: The Purpose-Driven Customer Service November 16, 1 pm CST The Ultimate Tour ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has lent its support to bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate that would delay and provide relief for new rules issued by the Department of Labor (DOL), which address some of the most commonly relied-upon exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements that are currently set to go into effect December 1. The DOL’s new rules raise the salary amounts employees need to be paid to qualify as exempt, and it has solicited comments on whether to change the req...
August 01, 2017
The British Promotional Merchandise Association (bpma) and business services provider Sourcing City (UPIC: SCITY) have announced a new show for the promotional products industry in the UK. The inaugural Merchandise World, to be held September 19-20, 2017, folds the Sourcing City Marketplace and The bpma Show together in a single event. “We are delighted to be equal partners in Merchandise World with the bpma, and our teams are excited to deliver a great experience for top industry distributor...
August 01, 2017
Joseph Loch has been named the new president of West Palm Beach, Florida, distributor EmbroidMe (UPIC: Embro699). EmbroidMe, with more than 300 locations worldwide, is a diversified promotional products franchise, offering embroidery, customized promotional products and screen printing services to local businesses. Previous president, Mark Johnson, left EmbroidMe in May and Jim Tatem, president of SIGNARAMA, which, like EmbroidMe under the umbrella of parent company United Franchise Group, fi...
August 01, 2017
Cimpress, the Dutch parent company of Waltham, Massachusetts-based distributor Vistaprint (UPIC: V565755), has chosen Reno, Nevada, for the site of its first U.S. manufacturing facility. Cimpress cites Reno’s superior access to distribution markets and strategic supply chains in its decision. “The desire for customized products is growing and our customers often want delivery as quickly as possible,” says Larry Reid, vice president of new plant development at Cimpress. “Opening a production f...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands disclosed its carbon emissions and related information for the CDP 2016 Climate Change Report and earned an above-average score of B. Hanes has reported its emissions data since 2010 to CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, for its report. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (UPIC: HBIINC). The company posted better performance in the 2016 report than the apparel industry average and overall program average in al...
August 01, 2017
For the second month in a row, the Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index increased in October. The index now stands at 128.97, up from 128.29 in September, and up one percent year-on-year. “The Employment Trends Index increased moderately in recent months, suggesting solid job growth will continue through early 2017,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “The moderation in the ETI’s pace of growth in recent months is typical, given the maturing of th...
August 01, 2017
SanMar Corporation’s (UPIC: SNMR) home office and distribution centers joined forces to raise $121,000 for charities in eight communities around the country for organizations that support local homeless populations. “One of our SanMar Family Values is to make a difference and it was truly inspiring to see everyone come together and raise money for such wonderful organizations,” says Marty Lott, founder and CEO of SanMar. “I challenged our teams to come up with new, inventive ways to build exc...
August 01, 2017
PPAI distributor members have selected 21 industry supplier companies as finalists for the 2017 PPAI Supplier Star Competition, which brings recognition to industry suppliers who have excelled in communication, service and quality. The 2017 PPAI Supplier Star and Award of Merit winners will be announced during the PPAI Block Party on January 10, 2017, at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. The PPAI Expo’s first ever Block Party includes opportunities to meet one-on-one with featured suppliers and old...
August 01, 2017
Last night’s spectacular Chicago Cubs win, which clenched the World Series title with an 8-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland’s Progressive Field, has sparked an unprecedented demand for Cubs branded apparel. New Era Cap Co., Inc. , official producer of MLB caps, produced a number of styles of Cubs and Indians World Series caps during the games this past week for players, management and fans and kicked production into high gear the minute the game was over. “Our plant outsid...
August 01, 2017
With the election season drawing to its conclusion on November 8, the season of branded political merchandise is also coming to a close. For almost two years, political campaigns have turned out hats, signs, bumper stickers, t-shirts and more, promoting their candidates and positions, and generating business and revenues for promotional products companies across the country. While campaign merchandise has been a factor in the Clinton and Trump campaigns since their beginnings, campaign produc...
August 01, 2017
HanesBrands reports net sales growth of 11 percent in its third quarter financial results, and record quarterly cash flow from operations of $337 million. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (UPIC: HBIINC). “As forecasted, we delivered strong growth in the third quarter, and we are generating record cash flow,” says Hanes Chief Executive Officer Gerald W. Evans, Jr. “Our sales initiatives have re-accelerated organic growth in several core c...
August 01, 2017
The Incentive Research Foundation (IRF) has announced its 2017 board of trustees executive committee and new board members. The IRF, which funds research studies and develops products serving the incentive industry, has also been accepted to the International Standard Organization’s (ISO) Technical Advisory Group. The 2017 IRF executive committee includes Chair Janet Traphagen, president of Creative Group, Inc.; Vice Chair Mike May, president and owner of Spear One; Secretary Kari Vrba, senio...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Eastern Advertising Novelty Powered by Proforma in Palmer, Massachusetts, has acquired Monson, Massachusetts-based DeRoy Advertising Specialties. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “I’m very excited to introduce this client base to Proforma and provide them a wider product range of printing, promotional products, graphic solutions and digital marketing resources including website development, online marketing and mobile apps,” says Brian Kwiatkowski, owner of Eas...
August 01, 2017
Most consumers do not believe customer reward programs are rigged, reports COLLOQUY, a provider of loyalty marketing research, publishing and education. However, their trust in the programs varies by demographics and the types of program in question. COLLOQUY’s survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers found that 59 percent say customer reward programs are on the up and up, but when broken down by age group, 53 percent of younger Millennials in the 18-24 age group describe them as rigged. Just 37 percen...
August 01, 2017
Attendees at The PPAI Expo 2017 can expect the same high-level lineup of insightful speakers and an extensive professional development schedule that they have come to expect from the industry’s largest and longest-running trade show. Following in that tradition, Monday, January 9’s keynote luncheon will give audiences a fresh look into building their business by building their brand. David Avrin, former CEO-group leader, business speaker and president of The Visibility Coach, joins Monday’s k...
August 01, 2017
Thirty finalists have been selected for PPAI’s 2017 Technology Award competition. The PPAI Technology Award recognizes members for development and effective use of technology in a variety of applications, and celebrates companies’ work in breaking ground in websites, mobile apps, video content, special interest sites, social media campaigns or blogs. Technology Award winners will be announced during the PPAI Block Party on January 10, 2017, at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas. Tickets to the event ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series continues through 2016’s final months, with sessions focusing on technology standards, customer service and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in November and December include: Technology: What Power Bank Standard UL 2056 Means to Your Business November 9, 1 pm CST The Purpose Drive...
August 01, 2017
HALO Branded Solutions (UPIC: HBS) has made a $5,000 donation to the Bill Schmidt, Sr. Scholarship through the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF). The scholarship was established with a $50,000 donation from Liz and CJ Schmidt. The Schmidt family, owners of Hit Promotional Products, established the perpetual scholarship in memory of Bill Schmidt, Sr., who passed away in April. A $1,000 Bill Schmidt, Sr. Scholarship will be awarded annually to a deserving student from the industr...
August 01, 2017
Mark Graham, founder of distributor RIGHTSLEEVE, CEO of commonsku and co-founder of industry group blog PromoKitchen (left), and alphabroder CEO Norm Hullinger, will discuss what goes into running the company during Tuesday's keynote luncheon. The PPAI Expo 2017 is set to deliver the high-level lineup of insightful speakers and an extensive professional development schedule that promotional products professionals have come to expect from the industry’s largest and longest-running trade show....
August 01, 2017
Supplier AST Sportswear, Inc. which operates in the promotional products industry under the Bayside Made In America (UPIC: BAYSIDE) brand, has acquired the former American Apparel dyeing and finishing plant in Hawthorne, California. That 95,000-square-foot plant, which had been shut down earlier this year, will resume operations starting in early 2017. Anaheim-based AST Sportswear plans to create approximately 120 new manufacturing jobs as a result of the acquisition. The purchase includes ma...
August 01, 2017
Marketers increasingly rely on data in their management of client/agency relationships. In its survey, “Using Data to Manage Agency Relationships: What’s Important to Marketers,” the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) found that more than 80 percent of advertisers use data to manage agency relationships. And as advertisers report positive results, its use will likely grow, particularly in the management of media budgets. “Data helps build better relationships between the client and age...
August 01, 2017
The Direct Marketing Association has rebranded as the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), citing data’s rapidly growing role in marketing and advertising. The association is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary and will fully launch its new brand over the coming year, culminating in its global conference in October 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The DMA’s board of directors, leadership team and branding experts from OgilvyOne Worldwide drew on member feedback and market analysis in c...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinar series continues through 2016’s final months, with sessions focusing on mentorship, customer service and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in November and December include: Mentoring Matters: How Mentorship Can Change Your Career November 2, 1 pm CDT Technology: What Power Bank Standard U...
August 01, 2017
Attendees at The PPAI Expo 2017 will find the full range of education opportunities they’ve come to expect from the promotional products industry’s largest and longest-running trade show, including more than 100 education sessions and an accomplished lineup of keynote and general session presentations. And in the Tuesday, January 10, opening general session, they will take a deep dive into brand loyalty with Johnny Cupcakes founder and CEO Johnny Earle. Earle founded what has become a multimi...
August 01, 2017
Bensussen Deutsch & Associates, LLC (UPIC: BENS0002), has announced a five-year sports merchandising partnership that names the Woodinville, Washington, distributor the preferred premiums supplier of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Under the new full-service premiums and gifting agreements, BDA will have the opportunity to supply promotional merchandise for in- and out-of-arena activations and gifting initiatives for all NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and N...
August 01, 2017
U.S. industrial production is expected to move into a recovery trend during the closing months of 2016, reports economic research and consulting firm ITR Economics in the October 2016 edition of its ITR Advisor. Average U.S. total industrial production was down 1.3 percent for the 12 months ending in September, but indicators point toward improvements in the sector through mid-2017. The U.S. Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), which typically leads industrial production by nine to 14 months, has...
August 01, 2017
Social media has grown into an important data source for businesses, with many viewing it as an accurate depiction of customer behaviors and preferences. In its Customer Experience Trends Report 2016, digital marketing company Falcon.io reports that social engagement is a key enabler of outstanding customer experience (CX). The survey found that 100 percent of marketing leaders use social data as part of their marketing campaigns, and that 60 percent see it as the future of their CX efforts. ...
August 01, 2017
Vickie Block, MAS (left) and Sarah Neikrug of TEAM Sarah & Vickie Sarah Neikrug and Vickie Block, MAS, known as TEAM Sarah & Vickie, have joined Lewiston, Maine-based Geiger (UPIC: geiger) as an affiliate. Block has more than 30 years of experience in the promotional products industry and over the past five years she and Neikrug have worked with clients throughout the Chicago region. Block is also a PPAI Pyramid Award winner and has been a PPAI ADvocate, providing education regard...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in November look at technology issues, business practices and other areas important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in November include: Technology: Know The Rules And Dangers When Transporting Electronics November 1, 1 pm CDT Mentoring Matters: How Mentorship Can Change Your Career November 2, 1 pm CDT ...
August 01, 2017
(From left) Power Keynote Speakers Colette Carlson, Ryan Estis and Brian Solis. The PPAI Expo 2016’s popular Power Keynotes return in 2017 with three engaging speakers whose compelling outlooks and ideas will help audiences grow and expand their businesses, change their outlooks on life and careers, and develop professionally and personally. The Power Keynotes are a fresh take on Expo’s general session that left audiences impressed last January. At a session on January 9, three presenters...
August 01, 2017
American Solutions for Business (UPIC: AMER0005) has acquired Peter Kleine Company (UPIC: PETE0002), a 30-year-old distributor based in Lititz, Pennsylvania. Financial details of the acquisition were not released. Peter Kleine’s team is made up of approximately 12 employees and will continue to do business from its 36,000-square-foot office/warehouse facility, while maintaining its identity as Peter Kleine Company, a division of American Solutions for Business. Eric Sheron and Michael Tornval...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. economy should continue to expand at a moderate rate into 2017. The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index increased 0.2 percent in September to 124.4. September’s performance follows a 0.2 percent decline in August and a 0.5 percent increase in July. “The U.S. LEI increased in September, reversing its August decline, which together with the pickup in the six-month growth rate suggests that the economy should continue expanding at a moderate pace through early 2017,” says Ataman O...
August 01, 2017
Employee morale is trending downward in the advertising industry, reports Campaign US in its second annual morale survey. The advertising trade magazine reports that 47 percent of industry employees rate their morale as either low (31 percent) or dangerously low (16 percent). In 2015, the same survey found 34 percent of employees described their morale as low or dangerously low. “These findings are sobering, but—sadly—not surprising,” says Douglas Quenqua, editor in chief of Campaign US. “Con...
August 01, 2017
Graham Bennington, former CEO of BemroseBooth in Hull, UK, passed away on October 20 after a short battle with cancer. He was 66. Bennington joined what was then known as the Bemrose Corporation in 1977. Over the years he held a number of positions within the company before becoming CEO in 2000. Martin Varley, CEO of industry business services provider Customer Focus, credits Bennington for getting him into the promotional products industry. In a LinkedIn post, he writes, “He was so talent...
August 01, 2017
MiPPA's 2016 Promotions That Roar! show drew more than 1,200 distributors and clients. The Michigan Promotional Professionals Association (MiPPA) brought industry distributors and suppliers together September 28 at its Promotions That Roar! Show. The annual members only, end-buyer  fall booth show was held at Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions, in downtown Detroit. The day began with a keynote presentation, “Coloring Outside The Lines: Creating a New Promotional Products Experience,” f...
August 01, 2017
Leaders from volunteer committees and the industry’s regional associations have been in Grapevine, Texas, this week for the 17th annual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW), hosted by PPAI and the Regional Association Council (RAC). Beginning Monday with a PPAI Board of Directors meeting, the four-day event continued with training and planning for PPAI committee and advisory group chairs on Tuesday, and an extensive curriculum of seminars, panel discussions and collaborative exercises, a...
August 01, 2017
As first announced Wednesday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, PPAI has released new show dates for Expo East 2017. Expo East, produced by PPAI in partnership with the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY), will be held June 12-14 at the Atlantic City Convention Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The show begins with an education day on Monday, June 12, with exhibits opening June 13 and continuing through June 14. “The new timing of a standalone Expo East will ...
August 01, 2017
Jackson, Wisconsin-based WOVIN Brands, which does business in the promotional products industry under the WOV-IN (UPIC: WOV-IN) and PROMOPET (UPIC: PROMOPET) supplier brands, has acquired the assets of supplier FootPrints USA (UPIC: footprnt). “This is such an amazing opportunity for us,” says Jessie Johnson, president of WOVIN Brands. “By combining our strengths and capabilities, we will be able to offer an unparalleled assortment of high-quality, casual accessories from headwear to footwear...
August 01, 2017
Outstanding Branding's Sarah Penn and Andy Thorne at the UK distributor's NYC office. UK-based distributor Outstanding Branding, LLC (UPIC: O678649) has opened a U.S. office on Park Avenue in New York City. The expansion to the U.S. is part of the company’s strategy to better serve its clients with a global presence. “We are lucky to have signed on offices in a fantastic part of a fantastic city,” says Outstanding Branding CEO Sarah Penn.  “The proximity to a number of our existing client...
August 01, 2017
Each year, SAGE presents industry suppliers with A+ and A rating awards based on distributor ratings collected in SAGE Online, SAGE Web and SAGE Mobile. This year, 1,070 suppliers received the top A+ rating, while another 415 suppliers received an A rating. A total of 37 percent of all suppliers in the SAGE database received an award this year. As part of the Power of Two relationship between SAGE and PPAI, SAGE ratings are also considered for eligibility in the industry’s annual PPAI Supplie...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board reports that its Employment Trends Index (ETI) increased in September, following a small decline the previous month. September’s ETI stood at 128.51, up from 127.96 in August. The change represents a 1.1-percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago. “The Employment Trends Index increased to 128.51 in September, despite a large decline in one component, NFIB, and suggests moderate job growth through the first quarter of 2017,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North Ame...
August 01, 2017
The National Small Business Association’s (NSBA) 2016 Mid-Year Economic Report found that while most small-business owners expect a flat economy in the coming year, the share anticipating economic expansion has grown over the past six months. “Unfortunately, job growth continues to linger at just 23 percent of small firms adding new workers over the past year,” says NSBA President and CEO Todd McCracken. “On the plus side, 12 percent of small-business owners said they plan to increase their w...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of price changes for its shipping services products to take effect next year, following the end of the holiday mailing season. The filing does not include any price increase for First-Class Package International Service, Priority Mail Express International and Priority Mail International. The new prices, if approved, represent a price increase in Priority Mail by 3.9 percent and an average increase of ...
August 01, 2017
LDW attendees travel to the annual event to learn best practices and ideas to support their regional associations and to connect with their peers. This week, board members and executive directors from regional associations across the country will be in Grapevine, Texas, for the 17th annual Leadership Development Workshop (LDW). Hosted by PPAI and the Regional Association Council (RAC), the four-day event began Monday with a PPAI Board of Directors meeting and is followed by today’s training ...
August 01, 2017
As reported Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, HALO Branded Solutions (UPIC: HBS) has acquired Clean Fun Promotional Marketing (UPIC: CLEA0002), a distributor headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. Clean Fun was purchased from ecommerce company Delivery Agent as part of its restructuring using Section 363 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. After an open-bidding process HALO’s bid was approved by the court. Jim Stutz, executive vice president of Sterling, Illinois-based HALO, says, “The...
August 01, 2017
Companies are increasingly aligning business strategies with their social engagement. In its “Giving In Numbers” survey of 272 companies, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) found that businesses are allocating bigger budgets to community engagement teams, elevating roles and responsibilities for giving officers, and ensuring that both employees and customers are able to show their commitment to giving back through the brand. “The leading companies in today’s global econom...
August 01, 2017
Direct mail tops TV and digital ads in helping swing voters decide their candidates. A survey by Summit Research on behalf of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) found that 58 percent of swing voters responding said direct mail is either “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful” in deciding how and whom to vote for, beating out television (55 percent), online (48 percent) and email (46 percent). Approximately one of three registered voters surveyed identified as a swing voter. Among those surveyed, 14 per...
August 01, 2017
When communication and teamwork between vendor and client work hand in hand, it spells a victory for everyone involved—including the buyer. In our annual search, PPB asked readers to nominate suppliers, distributors and business services companies who showcase the industry’s best examples of in sync partnerships. This year’s top eight were selected from all nominations for their ability to clearly communicate, follow up in a timely fashion, overcome challenges and impress the end buyer with qual...
August 01, 2017
Media advertising sales are expected to grow 6.3 percent this year to $179 billion, the strongest growth rate since 2010. Media forecast and strategy agency Magna Global, publishing its findings in its latest U.S. advertising revenue forecast, attributes the growth to strong ad sales during the first half of 2016. Magna Global’s forecast pegs digital media ad sales growth this year at 15 percent and predicts the segment will expand an additional 12 percent in 2017. In contrast, its findings s...
August 01, 2017
Hanjin’s sales and marketing network for its Asia-U.S. route is set to go on the auction block. The South Korean court that is handling the shipping giant’s bankruptcy proceedings announced the sale to raise funds for company’s debtors. The court previously indicated that it was considering selling the entire company. At the end of June, Hanjin was $5.3 billion in debt. The sale, which may begin accepting bids as early as Friday, is expected to include subsidiaries involved in its Asia-U.S. c...
August 01, 2017
Zagwear (UPIC: ZAGW0001) has opened a new office in the United Kingdom to support Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) markets and respond to growing international demand for custom premium and promotional product programs. The Orangeburg, New York-based distributor’s new office will be located just outside London and will serve as a hub for the region. “The opening of Zagwear’s UK office is an important step toward helping our enterprise clients grow and thrive in new markets and compete on...
August 01, 2017
The United States Postal Service is expected to raise the price of first-class mail next year, following the end of the holiday mailing season. If approved, the price of a First-Class Mail Forever stamp will increase by two cents to 49 cents, the price of a Forever stamp before the Postal Service was forced to reduce prices by the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) as part of the exigent surcharge removal. The last time stamp prices increased was in January 2014. The price change filing does ...
August 01, 2017
Extending the benefits of the Power of Two to its members, Universal Unilink Purchasing Associations (UPIC: 2312), a member-driven organization dedicated to providing resources to independent owners in the business of uniforms, textiles, laundries, wearables and promotional products, has selected SAGE as a preferred provider of research, marketing and business management services. As part of its relationship, SAGE will provide Universal Unilink members with a custom-designed package of SAGE p...
August 01, 2017
The Book Company (UPIC: BOOKCO) has announced an exclusive partnership with Shinola—a Detroit-based, rapidly expanding American luxury lifestyle brand with retail stores worldwide—to offer its line of fine quality, American-made journals in the promotional products industry. Housed in a historic General Motors building in downtown Detroit, Shinola is dedicated to creating world-class manufacturing jobs and was conceived with the belief that products should be well-made and built to last. Sinc...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Logomark (UPIC: logomark) has announced an exclusive partnership with Pelican Products, a manufacturer of rugged products used by adventure seekers, law enforcement and recreation enthusiasts. The partnership gives Logomark customers access to a full lineup of Pelican’s products, beginning with its steel double-wall insulated drinkware. “When it comes to offering truly high-performance products, Pelican stands apart from the crowd,” says Scott Pearson, Logomark executive vice preside...
August 01, 2017
John Barrett, a sales executive for Denver, Colorado-based distributor Specialty Incentives, passed away at his home on October 5. He was 62. Born in Golden, Colorado, Barrett was the second-generation owner and operator of distributor L.W. Barrett Company. Specialty Incentives acquired L.W. Barrett in 2010. Barrett is survived by his ex-wife Connie Barrett; daughter Mindy Levens and her husband Hans; son Aaron and his wife Kiley; two half-sisters, four grandchildren, two nieces, two nephe...
August 01, 2017
Margaret Lanese, Prime’s senior manager of customer service, opened the supplier's Customer Service Week festivities. In conjunction with Customer Service Week—an international celebration of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers and typically held during the first full week of October—supplier Prime Resources Corp. (UPIC: PRIME) celebrated its customer care teams in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and at its Jetline (UPIC: jetline) facility in Gaffney, South Carolina, ...
August 01, 2017
In September 2016, Bill Vernon, CAS, chairman of The Vernon Company (UPIC: Vernon), marked a career and company milestone by becoming the first person in the Newton, Iowa, distributor’s 114-year history to celebrate 60 continuous years of service in its corporate office. Vernon joined his family’s company in 1956, after college and a tour of duty overseas in the U.S. Army. He was elected president of The Vernon Company in 1969 and became the chairman and CEO after the death of his father, Bil...
August 01, 2017
(From left) David Bywater, MAS; Heather Schmidt; Cory Cremers; Glenda Stormes-Bice, MAS; Kay Smith, celebrate Bankers' 120th anniversary. Bankers Advertising Company (UPIC: BACADV) is celebrating its 120th anniversary this month. The fifth-generation family-owned distributor is headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa. The distributor invited staff, sales partners and vendor partners to a party last week to mark the occasion. Bankers gave out commemorative promotional items including sunglasses a...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in the coming weeks look at a number of technology issues and other subjects important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in October and November include: Technology: What You Must Know For Selling Promotional Tech Products October 26, 1 pm CDT Technology: Know The Rules And Dangers When Transporting Electronic...
August 01, 2017
Distributor 4imprint (UPIC: 4imprint) has earned a spot on Great Place to Work’s Best Medium Workplaces list for the ninth consecutive year. More than 95 percent of the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, company’s staff gave a great rating to its atmosphere, work, communication and rewards. 4imprint ranks 46 of 100 on the 2016 list, published on the Fortune website. “This honor wouldn’t be possible without our entire team. I am humbled to work with a group so committed to building a culture that works,” say...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has named H. Wayne Roberts, MAS, the retired vice president of Wichita, Kansas-based Pioneer Balloon and past chair of the PPAI Board of Directors, as recipient of the 2017 PPAI H. Ted Olson Humanitarian Award. Don Edwards, CAS, PPAI Hall of Famer and former PPAI board chair, nominated Roberts for the award. "Wayne is leaving a humanitarian legacy of caring and serving that is the ultimate role model for everyone to follow,” says Edwards. “His lifetime commitment of volunteering and lead...
August 01, 2017
As reported Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, AIA Corporation has appointed Matthew T. Gresge chief executive officer, effective immediately. Gresge replaces CEO David Woods, MAS, who will retire after 14 years of service to Neenah, Wisconsin-based distributor and more than 25 years in the promotional products industry. “After David announced his retirement, AIA conducted an extensive, nationwide search to find AIA’s next CEO,” says John Rompon, a member of AIA Corporation’s board...
August 01, 2017
The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act of 2016, signed into law on May 20, supports U.S. manufacturers by lowering the cost of certain finished goods as well as components and materials used in domestic manufacturing. The act’s tariff relief is available to entities that import goods under specified tariff headings, and industry companies may submit petitions to take advantage of this relief between October 14 and December 13. The American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act is Congress...
August 01, 2017
Severe rain, wind and flooding decimated parts of the Southeast with much of the region being declared a disaster area after Hurricane Matthew churned up the East Coast over the weekend. Although the storm has passed, many people and businesses in the region are still suffering the after-effects as floodwaters continue to rise. Calls to supplier companies located along the coastal areas of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina on Monday found that all businesses contacted were ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has tapped 25 distributors as finalists for the Association’s 2017 Pyramid Awards. The PPAI Pyramid Awards recognize members that have demonstrated outstanding, creative use of promotional products to deliver effective, results-oriented initiatives for a variety of client programs and campaigns. The presentation of the 2017 PPAI Pyramid Awards will take place on January 10, 2017, at The PPAI Expo in Las Vegas during the PPAI Awards Presentation & Reception. Tickets to the event can b...
August 01, 2017
The Regional Association Council (RAC) announced today that Jonathan Riegel, MAS, executive director for the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY), is the recipient of the 2016 Donna Hall Memorial Grant. The award presentation will take place during the opening reception and dinner at the 2016 RAC Leadership Development Workshop in Grapevine, Texas, on October 18. Created by the RAC Board in 2013, the Donna Hall Memorial Grant honors the memory of Donna Hall, who serv...
August 01, 2017
The 2017 RAC Executive officers are (top row, from left) Janet McMaster, MAS, as president; Lindsey Whitney, MAS, as vice president; Harold Wood as secretary; (bottom row, from left) John Bates as treasurer; D’Anna Zimmer, CAS, as RAC delegate to the PPAI Board; and Ryan Small, CAS, as immediate past president. The Regional Association Council (RAC) has selected its 2017 executive officers and new board members. RAC’s 2017 leadership lineup includes Janet McMaster, MAS, as president; Lindsey...
August 01, 2017
PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE (second left) and PPEF Foundation Manager Sara Besly (third from left) and the Association's staff hosted members of PPEF’s 2016 and newly-elected 2017 executive committees this week at its offices in Irving, Texas. Visitors included (from left) Immediate Past Chair Pat Dugan, MAS; 2016 Vice Chair – Scholarship Carol de Ville, MAS; 2016 Immediate Past Chair Kippie Helzel, MAS; Vice Chair – Strategic Planning & Budget Drew Davis, MAS; Chair Lori Ba...
August 01, 2017
Web traffic growth may be easing, as Adobe Digital Insights’ Advertising Demand Report found that organic web traffic in North America is saturated, with only 0.1 percent growth over the past 42 months. While six out of 10 sites saw traffic grow on average by 1.1 percent each month, nearly four out of 10 sites saw traffic decline at a higher rate, 1.3 percent. The sites that reported growth between second quarter 2013 and second quarter 2016 drew 36 percent more traffic from personalized ads ...
August 01, 2017
(From left) ZOOMcatalog's Donna Lomazini, Chris Reid and Bryony Zasman film a segment with CNBC. Industry technology provider ZOOMcatalog (UPIC: Zoom-cat) was interviewed and filmed by CNBC in September, following the Boulder, Colorado-based company’s win in the T-Mobile #UnleashYourBiz contest in June at iConic:Denver 2016. ZOOMcatalog was recognized by T-Mobile for its unique, technology-focused business model and its distributed, interconnected workforce. As the sole contest winner at ...
August 01, 2017
Distributor HALO Branded Solutions (UPIC: HBS) has named Anna Grace Goode the 2016 winner of its spring scholarship competition. Goode, a full-time student at the University of Georgia, was chosen for the $3,000 scholarship based on her creativity, dedication and outstanding academic achievements. “HALO Branded Solutions is proud of our dedication to forward thinking and passion-fueled results. That’s why we’re so proud to announce Anna Grace as our 2016 scholar,” says Terry McGuire, senior v...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has announced 37 finalists for the 2017 PPAI Image Awards Competition. The PPAI Image Awards recognize creative, insightful and effective branding activities that convey information about the company’s identity, products or services to customers. Member companies and regional associations enter their marketing efforts in a number of categories, including self-promotion campaigns, branding, printed supplier catalogs, electronic supplier catalogs, printed distributor catalogs and electroni...
August 01, 2017
Five industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Professional (MAS) and Certified Advertising Professional (CAS) industry certifications in August and September, joining an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to th...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in the coming weeks look at a number of technology issues and other subjects important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in October and November include: Technology: Lithium Ion Batteries October 12, 1 pm CDT Technology: What You Must Know For Selling Promotional Tech Products October 26, 1 pm CDT Technolo...
August 01, 2017
Marcy Lazarus, president of Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based distributor Promotional Breezes (UPIC: breezes), passed away on September 27 in Boynton Beach. She was 64. While Lazarus’ career began in special education, her husband, Bill, introduced her to the promotional products industry. They worked together at Promotional Images in Emerson, New Jersey, which Bill started in 1985. He sold the company to Allied Office Products in 1999. They returned to the industry in 2004 with the launch of Pr...
August 01, 2017
Over the next six months, nearly half (47 percent) of advertisers are expected to increase their social media advertising spending. Business intelligence firm Advertiser Perceptions says in its Social Media Advertising Report that this will be predominately on sharing networks and buying programmatically. Advertiser Perceptions interviewed more than 300 agency and marketing executives on their opinions on social media advertising, their buying plans and perception of networks and platforms. A...
August 01, 2017
Distributor HDS (UPIC: HDSMKTG) has acquired Cleveland, Ohio-based Stuart & Associates (UPIC: STUAP001). Established in 1973, Stuart & Associates, which also maintains a sales office in Columbus, offers printing and promotional product services in eastern Ohio. While the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the acquisition will take Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-headquartered HDS’ annual sales to an estimated $32 million. Craig McAllester, president and owner of Stuart & Ass...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Ennis, Inc. (UPIC: Ennis), headquartered in Midlothian, Texas, has released its financial results for the quarter and six-month period ending August 31. The company’s net sales from continuing operations for the quarter ending August 31 were $91.2 million compared to $100.5 million for the same quarter last year, a decrease of 9.3 percent. The gross profit margin for continuing operations that quarter were $27 million or 29.6 percent. This compares to 29.5 percent for the previous qu...
August 01, 2017
For the first time in its five-year history, the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study has found that more than half (51 percent) of all purchases made by respondents are made online, up from 48 percent in 2015. “Consumers are skilled at using technology to their advantage and thrive on gathering information when shopping,” says Teresa Finley, chief marketing officer at shipping company UPS. “This year’s UPS study revealed that 45 percent of online shoppers love the thrill of hunting for and ...
August 01, 2017
Promotion Concepts (UPIC: pciaws) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, has joined Facilisgroup (UPIC: Facilis), a community of promotional products distributors. Founded in 1982, Promotion Concepts is a certified Women Owned Business™ and offers custom promotion, incentive and award programs. "Facilisgroup’s software and best practices training will improve our business efficiency," says Laurene Powers, president and owner of Promotion Concepts. "We're excited to use their customized website and market...
August 01, 2017
SAGE has launched a new version of its Supplier Integration Toolkit, a complete application programming interface (API) for industry suppliers to use to exchange data in real time with distributors through the SAGE network. The new version, 2.0, expands the capabilities of SAGE's previous toolkit to provide new functionality and capabilities that have been requested by suppliers and distributors. Using the toolkit, suppliers can: Update product information and pricing in real time 24/7/3...
August 01, 2017
At a breakfast meeting at the offices of TradeNet Publishing, the local rotary/chamber of commerce recognized its 30 years in business. PPAI Director of Member Engagement and Regional Relations Carol Gauger, MAS, was on the road recently, meeting with the Promotional Products Association of The Midwest’s (PPAM) and industry companies in the region. PPAM brought its Fall Showcase to St. Louis, Missouri, and Lenexa, Kansas, this year. Gauger joined the show’s Kansas leg and met with the reg...
August 01, 2017
Mike Schenker, MAS, (right) introduces Michele Jennrich, MAS, to (from left) Rob Pettet, district director for Rep. Scott Garrett, and Dinesh Suryawanshi, a projects specialist for Sen. Cory Booker, on the SAAGNY Fall Showcase show floor. The Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York’s (SAAGNY) Fall Showcase in Teaneck, New Jersey, on September 20 drew exhibitors and attendees from across the industry and the region. Also attending were representatives from the offices of New Jer...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI Regional Association Council (RAC) Volunteer of the Year award recipients Ted Dennison, MAS (left), and George Jackson. Ted Dennison, MAS, of Houston, Texas, distributor TMJ Enterprises, and George Jackson, owner of distributor George Jackson Promotions in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, have been named recipients of the 2016 PPAI Regional Association Council (RAC) Volunteer of the Year award. The award is presented annually to regional association members who have demonstrated an...
August 01, 2017
The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) has launched a pilot program in collaboration with industry companies to award three college scholarships and provide internship opportunities at three colleges across the country. David Tate of Signet, Inc. in Memphis, Tennessee; Danny Rosin of Brand Fuel in Morrisville, North Carolina; and Rod Brown, CAS, of MadeToOrder, Inc. in Pleasanton, California, all current or former PPEF Trustees, are serving on a workgroup to research and develop...
August 01, 2017
Baltimore, Maryland-based supplier Towel Specialties (UPIC: TOWLSPEC) has launched a new division, Cobblestone Mills, focusing on blankets and robes for the promotional products industry. “This launch has been in the works for well over a year as we built this line from the ground up,” says Shawn Kanak, vice president of sales. “We experienced great success when we expanded our blanket and robe gift collection in recent years. So we tried to identify voids in the market in these categories an...
August 01, 2017
Geiger (UPIC: geiger) is converting its former manufacturing facility in Lewiston, Maine, into a 105,000-square-foot office and distribution space. When completed next year, the $12 million project will house the distributor’s 225 headquarters employees and provide space to accommodate 25-50 new hires over the next three to five years, and it will feature one of the state’s largest private solar arrays as depicted in the artist's rendering above. Gene Geiger, MAS+, CEO, says, “We could be bas...
August 01, 2017
In the September 2016 edition of its ITR Advisor, economic research and consulting firm ITR Economics shares its outlook on what to expect going into 2017, highlighting positive trends in industrial production, retail sales in its macroeconomic review, and other factors. ITR expects U.S. industrial production to move into the recovery phase of the business cycle in third quarter. It notes the sector’s utilities and mining segments—both of which contracted over the past year—are improving, wit...
August 01, 2017
PPB magazine has been named a finalist by Folio: magazine for its 2016 Eddie award recognizing editorial excellence in the Full Issue Association/Non-Profit (B-to-B) category for magazines published six or more times a year. This is the first time PPB has been a finalist in the Full Issue category. PPB’s entry was based on its May 2016 issue. “Congratulations to all those who have been named finalists—competition this year was as fierce as ever,” says Danielle Sikes, Folio senior marketing ma...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in the coming weeks look at PANTONE products, technology issues and other subjects important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in October and November include: Using PANTONE In The Promotional Products Industry October 5, 1 pm CDT Technology: Lithium Ion Batteries October 12, 1 pm CDT Technology: What You ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has lent its support to bipartisan legislation, including the Regulatory Relief for Small Businesses, Schools and Nonprofits Act (H.R. 6094) and the Overtime Reform and Enhancement Act (H.R. 5813), that would delay and provide relief for new rules issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) addressing some of the most commonly relied-upon exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements. The rules are set to take effect December 1. H.R. 5813 would phase in the new ov...
August 01, 2017
Whether you realize it or not, you're vulnerable to scams. Scammers target everyone, but there are always warning signs if you know where to look. If you receive an order from someone that seems suspicious, be sure to do your research before fulfilling the order. Sherry Friley at Merchant Focus shared with us a few helpful tips regarding online payment processing: Check that the ship-to and bill-to addresses are the same. Feel free to ask for a front and back copy of the customer's driver's...
August 01, 2017
Staples, Inc. has appointed Shira Goodman as its president and CEO and as a member of its board of directors, effective immediately. Staples participates in the promotional products industry as distributor Staples Promotional Products (UPIC: AMER0016). “After a comprehensive search process that included the evaluation of several qualified candidates for the position of chief executive officer, the board has approved Shira’s appointment. This decision was not only based on her long tenure and ...
August 01, 2017
Gold Bond Worldwide (UPIC: GOLD0008) has announced plans to relocate its Covington, Tennessee, facility to Hixson, Tennessee, by the end of 2016. The Covington facility produces full color mugs, mouse pads, commemorative plates and other items. The Hixson location produces drinkware, pens, bags, golf balls and other hard goods. Mark Godsey, president of the Hixson-based supplier, says, “When Gold Bond acquired World Wide Line in 2014, we brought all customer-facing operations to one location....
August 01, 2017
Attendees at the first Reciprocity Road Summit included (back row, from left) Jeremy Lott, SanMar; Brian Haner, Image Source; Brad Storms, C & S Sales; Todd Pottebaum, MAS+, Quality Resource Group; Bobby Lehew, Robyn Promotions; Tom Goos, MAS, Image Source, (front row) Rod Brown, CAS, MadeToOrder; Danny Rosin, Brand Fuel, Inc.; Scott Alterman, The Icebox; Robert Fiveash, Brand Fuel, Inc. and Toby Zacks, Zagwear. Eight distributor companies comprising the buying group Reciprocity Road hel...
August 01, 2017
SAAGNY's Alan Baker joins Godin during a book signing event after his session. PPAI’s Get In Touch! industry branding initiative kicked off today at Advertising Week in New York City at a seminar featuring author, blogger and master marketer Seth Godin. Godin was introduced by PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, for “Getting In Touch With The Work That Matters,” a keynote exploring business, management, marketing, storytelling, changing everything and doing the work that matters. Be...
August 01, 2017
Jack Nadel, businessman, industry leader, World War II hero, philanthropist, speaker and award-winning writer, passed away of natural causes at his home in Santa Barbara, California, on Saturday, just days before his 93rd birthday. A pioneer in the promotional products industry, Nadel started distributor Jack Nadel International with his late wife, Elly, in Los Angeles in 1953 after several years in the import/export business. During his more than 70 years in business, Nadel founded, acqui...
August 01, 2017
Women who own micro-businesses have a positive outlook on what the future holds, reports Vistaprint (UPIC: V565755), an online print and promotional products distributor. The company has conducted a survey of more than more than 1,200 respondents across the U.S. and UK focused on women-owned businesses, the issues they face, the tools they need and future trends to be expected. For the purposes of its survey, Vistaprint defines micro businesses as being small in size and focus, with fewer tha...
August 01, 2017
Virtual reality may have a future as an advertising medium. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing and Digital Video Centers of Excellence has released “Is Virtual the New Reality?: A Market Snapshot of VR Publishing and Monetization,” exploring virtual reality’s promise and pitfalls as the “the next big thing” in digital advertising. “We have only scratched the surface of what virtual reality, augmented reality, and 360-degree video can offer as advertising channel...
August 01, 2017
Facilisgroup (UPIC: Facilis) recently celebrated 10 years in business in the U.S. Facilisgroup, a management consulting and technology services group, was originally founded in Canada in 2000 by Dan Rochette, and was established in the U.S. in 2006 by a partnership between Rochette, Martin Weber and Chuck Fandos. Its U.S. headquarters is based in St. Louis, Missouri. "l can say, without any hesitation, that these past 10 years have been the most enjoyable years of my professional life," says ...
August 01, 2017
DistributorCentral (UPIC: DC) has announced its second annual promo pumpkin decorating contest. Social media fans are invited to share a photo of their most creative jack-o’-lantern that incorporates the use of promotional products or a company logo. The contest is open to employees of distributor and supplier members and service provider partners of DistributorCentral. Three categories will have one winner: Overall Most Creative, Best Use of Promotional Products and Best Representation of Co...
August 01, 2017
PPAI's incoming board members are (from left) Danny Rosin, co-president of distributor Brand Fuel, Inc.; Sharon Willochell, president of supplier Trimark; and RAC Delegate to the PPAI Board, D’Anna Zimmer, the Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana business development manager for BAG MAKERS, Inc. PPAI announced the final results from the Association’s 2016 Board of Directors election this morning in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, welcoming Danny Rosin, co-president of distributor Brand Fuel, In...
August 01, 2017
Customer service means more than doing what your clients expect; those who excel at customer service deliver what the client doesn’t even know he needs yet. That’s the spirit this year’s PPB Service Superheroes share, and what makes them recognized and appreciated. The professionals selected for the 2016 honor were nominated by their clients, reps and coworkers because they routinely go the extra mile to make everyone around them look like superstars. Learn more about what makes these eigh...
August 01, 2017
Jack Nadel, businessman, industry leader, World War II hero, philanthropist, speaker and award-winning writer, passed away of natural causes at his home in Santa Barbara, California, on Saturday. He was 92. A pioneer in the promotional products industry, Nadel started distributor Jack Nadel International with his late wife, Elly, in Los Angeles in the 1950s. He also brought name brands into the industry such as the Pierre Cardin brand and was one of the first industry companies to hire women....
August 01, 2017
PPAI has joined 119 trade associations in urging the Department of Commerce to resolve the Hanjin bankruptcy situation. The South Korean shipping giant, representing about eight percent of the trans-Pacific trade to the U.S., declared bankruptcy earlier this month, putting its ships and containers in limbo. Written by the National Retail Federation, the letter encourages Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to continue to work with the South Korean government on a swift and economically positive...
August 01, 2017
The incoming PPEF officers include (top row, from left) Chair Lori Bauer; Immediate Past Chair Pat Dugan, MAS; and Chair Elect Wayne Greenberg, MAS; (bottom row, from left) Vice Chair – Fundraising Paula Shulman, CAS; Vice Chair – Scholarships Brian Porter; and Vice Chair – Marketing & Recognition Stephanie Preston. Not shown, Vice Chair – Strategic Planning & Budget Drew Davis, MAS. The Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) has named its 2017 officers. They will serve a o...
August 01, 2017
In its latest SBLC Report, the Small Business Legislative Council (SBLC), of which PPAI is a member and PPAI president and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, serves as a board director, offers a quick and candid review of what’s going on in Washington. The mission of the SBLC is twofold: to make improvements in public policy for small business and to help member associations in their communications with business members. Please note that this weekly is for the sole personal, informational use of PPAI mem...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Visual Promotions/VP Brand (UPIC: VPBRAND) has acquired the Frio Ice Chest Company. For the past year, the Sealy, Texas, company has been the exclusive distributor of the Frio product line. It now has complete ownership of the brand. "The Frio product brand has expanded rapidly in the promotional and retail market for us,” says Jeff Brandes, who owns Visual Promotions with his wife, Jennifer. “We are very pleased with the results and have big plans for the future of all Frio products...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s Product Responsibility Summit, which wrapped up Tuesday afternoon after a two-and a-half-day run in National Harbor, Maryland, fully accomplished organizers’ and attendees’ expectations—and then some. The education event drew more than 160 product responsibility professionals and executives from supplier and distributor companies across the U.S. and Canada for a broad examination of the issues from recalls and shipping lithium-ion battery products to voluntary standards and the how-tos...
August 01, 2017
Admore, a division of Midlothian, Texas-based supplier Ennis, Inc. (UPIC: Ennis), took home gold in the Printing Impressions 2016 Gold Ink Awards’ folders category for its Halloween folder “Out of this World.” This is the sixth consecutive year one of their Halloween folders has been recognized, giving them five gold awards and one silver. “We have been doing Halloween promotions for the past 14 years now and have so much fun doing them, the awards are just icing on the cake,” says Lisa Goebe...
August 01, 2017
Towel Specialties (UPIC: TOWLSPEC) has won two SGIA Awards in the textiles category. The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) announced that Towel Specialties won both the Silver and Bronze Golden Image Awards for Excellence for Digital Printing on Textiles. The Baltimore, Maryland-based supplier’s “Cargaritaville” campaign took home the Silver, while its “Shark Week” campaign won Bronze. “We’re very happy to be recognized in this category,” says Murray Siegel, marketing director. “As...
August 01, 2017
Tabatha Bauer, Staples; Chuck Samuels, Mintz & Levins and Carlie Watson, Health Canada share their expertise on Canada’s reporting requirements in a Monday panel discussion. More than 160 professionals responsible for ensuring the safety and compliance of the promotional products they sell have gathered in National Harbor, Maryland, near Washington D.C., over the past few days for the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit. As the critical need for understanding how to manufacture, source, s...
August 01, 2017
Distributor DJB Specialties (UPIC: DJBSPEC) has acquired Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s GForce Promotions (UPIC: GForce) from Gray Consulting, Inc. “We know that GForce Promotions brings a strong reputation for delivering a quality purchasing experience along with a client base that expects the highest level of service with every transaction,” says DJB Specialties President David Blank. “We are confident that we are the right company to continue that tradition and build upon the existing succes...
August 01, 2017
In its latest SLBC Report, the Small Business Legislative Council (SLBC), of which PPAI is a member and PPAI president and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, serves as a board director, offers a quick and candid review of what’s going on in Washington. The mission of the SBLC is twofold: to make improvements in public policy for small business and to help member associations in their communications with business members. Please note that this weekly is for the sole personal, informational use of PPAI mem...
August 01, 2017
CPSC Commissioner Robert Adler’s talk on ethics engages and entertains the audience, while also making them think. Monday’s opening of the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit started strong with a topic that’s becoming more and more commonplace: product recalls. The simulated recall crisis and panel discussion featured Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Carol Cave and Edelman’s Ryan Cudney moderated by Crowell and Moring Senior Vice President Cheryl Falvey. Audience members participa...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett speaks to an audience of business students while in Idaho. PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett was on the road last week in the Northwest, speaking to industry companies and organizations in the region, and lecturing at area universities. Barnett began his trip in Boise, Idaho, where on September 13 he met with staff of In The Bag Promotions—an eight-person distributorship whose median employee age i...
August 01, 2017
Sen. Al Franken’s Field Representative Charles Sutton (center) meets with (from left) UMAPP Government Relations Council (GRC) Chair David Malek, GRC Member Devin Martin, UMAPP Executive Director Sue Selseth, and UMAPP member David Hawes, MAS+, at Sen. Franken's offices in St.Paul, Minnesota. Members of the Upper Midwest Association of Promotional Professionals (UMAPP) have made a number of connections with Minnesota’s legislators in September. At the beginning of the month, UMAPP Executi...
August 01, 2017
Distributor 4imprint (UPIC: 4imprint) has been named to Great Place to Work’s 100 Best Workplaces for Women list for the second year in a row. To put together the 100 Best Workplaces for Women list, Great Place to Work Institute asked more than 137,500 women to rate the quality and fairness of their workplaces in its Great Place to Work’s Trust Index survey. Researchers found the top 100 companies were more likely to have consistent, inclusive environments that support both women and men. “Ev...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Raining Rose, Inc. (UPIC: Raini224) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been recognized by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Fortune magazine on its Inner City 100, a list compiled annually that features businesses with headquarters in inner cities that have shown significant five-year sales growth. With a combined growth rate of 153 percent from 2011-2015, Raining Rose ranked No. 81 among this year’s national best. This 2016 recognition marks the 10th time Raining Rose h...
August 01, 2017
Registration and housing for The PPAI Expo 2017 is now open. Education days will be January 8 and 9 with exhibits open January 10-12. The PPAI Expo 2017 will once again be held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. Click here for Expo 2017 registration information. Expo room rates are available here. Expo attendees planning to stay at the Mandalay Bay or Delano hotels can save more money with the two early-bird rates the hotels are offering. The first early-bird discount ends Tu...
August 01, 2017
Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of three percent to $18,142 this year, a modest increase at a time when workers’ wages (2.5 percent) and inflation (1.1 percent) also grew modestly, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust’s 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey. Workers on average contribute $5,277 annually toward their family premiums. The low family premium increase this year is similar to the four-percen...
August 01, 2017
Digital advertising spending is expected to overtake television this year for the first time. Marketing research firm eMarketer’s ad spending forecast points to U.S. digital ad spending to reach $72.09 billion this year, ahead of television’s $71.29 billion. “Digital advertising is not only pulling dollars from traditional media, but it’s also creating new advertising opportunities at the local and national level,” says eMarketer Forecasting Analyst Martín Utreras. Digital advertising is e...
August 01, 2017
Voting continues for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2021, and will run through Monday, September 19. Over the past few weeks, PPB Newslink has taken a closer look at each of the four candidates, and is wrapping up the series today with Sharon Willochell, president of supplier Trimark (UPIC: TRIMARK). “What unites us all is the need for a strong industry, because we play a very important role within the marketing and advertising mix,” Willochell says. “PPAI is able to do what no single d...
August 01, 2017
Strong partnerships between suppliers and distributors are vital to the future of the promotional products industry. In its annual search, PPB magazine is looking for the best examples of strong and effective partnerships for its Powerful Partner recognition program. Nominations open today. Tell us about the distributors or suppliers you partner with who consistently invest in your success by building mutually beneficial relationships, helping you succeed through clear communications, maintai...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in the coming weeks look at international trade legislation, PANTONE products and other subjects important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in September and October include: Hot Topics In International Trade Legislation That Will Directly Impact You September 28, 1 pm CDT Using PANTONE In The Promotional Prod...
August 01, 2017
A FASTSIGNS franchise in Dallas, Texas, (UPIC: F638423) has been named a Franchisee of the Year award winner by the International Franchise Association (IFA). The award recognizes franchisees who have demonstrated excellence within the franchising community. Sarosh Nayar, owner of the Dallas distributor, was recognized this week at IFA’s Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. which brought together more than 300 franchise business leaders to raise awareness with policymak...
August 01, 2017
Kaeser and Blair, Inc. (UPIC KAESER) has announced its 2015-2016 Legend Award Winners and recipients of other incentive awards. The Batavia, Ohio-based distributor’s annual recognition encompasses sales from September 1 through August 31 each year. In the past year, Legend Award winners reached record volume of more than $27 million with an average 25.47-percent sales increase over the previous period, and Legend winners alone received more than $500,000 in bonus awards with total awards and ...
August 01, 2017
California has adopted new rules under Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, which regulates 970 chemicals that have been determined by the state of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The updated regulations necessitate changes to Prop 65 warning labeling and go into effect August 30, 2018. Prop 65 requires businesses with 10 or more employees to give a clear and reasonable warning to individuals before knowingly and inte...
August 01, 2017
The British Promotional Merchandise Association (bpma) is hosting the 2016 bpma Show this week, beginning with an education day today at Whittlebury Hall in Towcester before the trade show opens Wednesday at the nearby Silverstone racetrack. Today’s education lineup features marketing experts, leaders from the promotional products industry in the UK and U.S.—including Marty Lott, owner and president of apparel supplier SanMar (UPIC: SNMR), PPAI Board Chair Tom Goos, MAS, president of distribu...
August 01, 2017
Drawing on data from 59 markets around the world, global media network Carat forecasts global advertising spending in 2016 to reach $548.2 billion, a year-over-year increase of 4.4 percent. Carat expects growth, driven by the digital advertising sector, to continue into 2017. The network attributes some of 2016’s growth to high-interest media events like European football’s UEFA Euro Championship, the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, and the U.S. presidential election. The U.S. market is ex...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index slipped in August, following increases in June and July. The index stood at 128.02 in August, down from 128.44 in July. The August rating represents a 0.8-percent increase over the same month last year, however. “The Employment Trends Index is consistent with moderating job growth in the second half of 2016,” says Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference Board. “With the ongoing massive retirement of baby boomers, even moder...
August 01, 2017
Voting is under way for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2021, and the election will run through September 19. During the election, PPB Newslink is taking closer looks at the each of the four candidates to learn more about them and their goals. This issue focuses on Danny Rosin, co-owner of Brand Fuel, Inc. (UPIC: bfuel001). “PPAI is a vibrant collective and there are strengths in our differences,” says Rosin. “We must incubate ideas, nurture enterprise and uplift rather than deconstruct....
August 01, 2017
Members of The Partnering Group toured AT&T Stadium on Monday following their meeting at PPAI headquarters in Irving, Texas. The Partnering Group, LLC, an exclusive industry organization comprised of 18 distributor members, held its fall meeting of company principals at PPAI’s Irving, Texas, headquarters on Monday. The group used the opportunity to learn more about PPAI, and its products, services and programs through presentations from every PPAI department. Partnering Group members...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. economy is positioned for future growth, forecasts ITR Economics’ August 2016 ITR Advisor report. The economic analysis firm expects improvements during the last half of 2016 and into 2017, pointing to a number of indicators including U.S. Industrial Production and the U.S. Purchasing Managers Index. ITR Economics expects Industrial Production—bringing together mining, manufacturing and utilities, and a commonly used indicator for the country’s overall industrial economy—to reverse i...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 SAGE Show attracted about 1,000 distributors and their guests to the Irving Convention Center. Last week, promotional products suppliers and distributors gathered for the fourth annual SAGE Show and Education Day at the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas. Running August 31-September 1, the show featured an extensive show floor, networking opportunities and the same high-quality education found at The PPAI Expo and Expo East. "We look forward to hosting SAGE Show each year ...
August 01, 2017
HALO Branded Solutions (UPIC: HBS) has announced the affiliation of A Branovan Company (UPIC: ABRAP001), a distributor based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “We are pleased to welcome the A Branovan Company team to the HALO family,” says Dale Limes, MAS, HALO’s senior vice president of sales. “Their affiliation will improve our presence in a key Midwest market and will add blue-chip A Branovan Company clients to HALO’s industry-leading support platform.” David Branovan, A Branovan Company’s presi...
August 01, 2017
PPAI staff gather with supplies donated by HPPA Hot Stuff Expo and SAGE Show attendees and exhibitors to aid those affected by the recent floods in Louisiana. Industry members and companies have stepped up in support of those affected by the recent flooding in Louisiana. Last week, at the Houston Promotional Products Association’s Hot Stuff Expo in Houston, and The SAGE Show in Irving, attendees and distributors together donated two pallets worth of items for flood relief. PPAI business p...
August 01, 2017
Bankers Advertising Company Chairman Bill Bywater celebrates his 55th year with the distributor during a reception at the Iowa City, Iowa, company's headquarters. Bankers Advertising Company (UPIC: BACADV) celebrated Chairman Bill Bywater’s 55th year with the Iowa City, Iowa, distributor, recently with a small reception at its headquarters. A 2004 inductee of the PPAI Hall of Fame, Bywater has served and chaired numerous PPAI committees over the years. Additionally, he was recently named ...
August 01, 2017
Voting has begun for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2021, and will run through September 19. During the election, PPB Newslink is taking closer looks at each of the four candidates to learn more about them and their goals. This issue focuses on Andrew Spellman, vice president of corporate channels at Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc. (UPIC: swisarmy). “PPAI has the leadership both in its current staff as well as a very well appointed board to continue to fulfill its mission of protecting and ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI hosted its inaugural young professionals “pop-up” event, SPARK, last week at The SAGE Show in Irving, Texas. SPARK is a new PPAI education and networking opportunity for young professionals working inside and outside the promotional products industry. SPARK connects future leaders and gives them insight into the ideas, projects and achievements that will shape the industry going forward. The pop-up drew 37 registrants for the program, which featured an opportunity to meet and network wit...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars in the coming weeks look at  regulatory reforms, insurance issues and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in September and October include: TSCA Reform Changes Everything Federally And Pre-Empts On Some State Regulations September 14, 1 pm CDT Product Liability Insurance To Protect From Ca...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit attendees can tailor their experience through a series of break-out sessions, pursuing subjects most important to their needs and the needs of their companies. One such session, Lithium-ion: Dangerous Secrets, explores the critical need for safety and certification when sourcing lithium-ion batteries, and staying on the right side of compliance with Rick Brenner, MAS+, CEO of Logical Advisors and immediate past chair of the PPAI Board, and John Copelan...
August 01, 2017
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based supplier Pro Towels (UPIC: PROTOWEL) has acquired supplier Neet Feet (UPIC: NEETFEET), effective immediately. Oceanside, California-based Neet Feet has been supplying custom logo flip flops and sandals since 1987. It invented and introduced die-cut “logo footprint” flip flops that leave an imprint in the sand in 1989. “No other supplier offers better quality custom logo footwear, flip flops and sandals than Neet Feet, and I believe the fit of the Neet Feet produ...
August 01, 2017
South Korean shipping giant Hanjin filed for bankruptcy in the U.S. and South Korea last week, freezing its ships and containers in limbo. The world’s seventh-largest container shipping line—representing about eight percent of the trans-Pacific trade to the U.S.—has stopped accepting new cargos, and its ships are unable to offload over payment concerns. On Monday, Hanjin said it would seek similar protections in 40 other countries to protect its fleet from repossession. Estimates from South K...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a final rule on September 2 establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with triclosan, triclocarban and other similar ingredients, because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preve...
August 01, 2017
Voting has begun for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2021 and will run through September 19. During the election, PPB Newslink is speaking with each of the four candidates to learn more about them and their goals, beginning with Mitch Rhodus, CAS, of HALO Branded Solutions (UPIC: HBS). “To me it’s all about building value and giving back,” says Rhodus, “building the value of PPAI so that distributors and suppliers come to us to be a part of the PPAI movement. I want to give back to the a...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s webinars this month take a close look at selling to Millennials, insurance strategies and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in September include: The Professional Life of a Millennial: Selling to a New Market September 7, 1pm CDT Four Health Insurance Strategies September 13, 1 pm CDT TSCA Re...
August 01, 2017
George Kerchner, executive director of the Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA), is joining the 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit to share his insights and perspectives on shipping lithium-ion batteries. Kerchner’s session at the Summit will explore what goes wrong when something goes wrong shipping batteries, what industry companies can do to mitigate the risk and the rules and regulations that are in play. Alongside his role at the PRBA, Kerchner is affiliated with the Dangerous Go...
August 01, 2017
The Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index showed an uptick in August after posting a slight decrease one month before. The Index now stands at 101.1, compared to 96.7 in July. “Consumer confidence improved in August to its highest level in nearly a year, after a marginal decline in July,” says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. “Consumers’ assessment of both current business and labor market conditions was considerably more favorable than last month. ...
August 01, 2017
Delta Apparel, Inc. (UPIC: delta03) has acquired the assets of Greenville, South Carolina-based COAST Apparel.  Delta Apparel, also headquartered in Greenville, is adding COAST Apparel to its portfolio of brands, which current includes M. J. Soffe, LLC, Junkfood Clothing Company, Salt Life, LLC and Art Gun, LLC. COAST Apparel primarily markets directly to consumers through two retail stores located in Greenville and Pawley’s Island, via its ecommerce site and at select independent retailers. ...
August 01, 2017
Advertising agencies’ talent development is falling behind the fast-moving digital economy, reports professional education firm smith & beta. The company’s “The State of Advertising Talent” report, drawing from a survey of more than 2,000 agency employees around the world, found a lack of core skillsets and outdated organizational habits. smith & beta’s survey found that while most agency employees say clients are asking for more advanced digital work, 43 percent say that they aren’t ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s 2017 board candidates include (top row, from left) distributors Mitch Rhodus, CAS, of HALO Branded Solutions, and Danny Rosin, co-owner of Brand Fuel, Inc.; and (bottom row, from left) suppliers Andrew Spellman, vice president of corporate channels at Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc., and Sharon Willochell, chief operating officer of Trimark. PPAI members can now cast their ballots for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2021. The designated voter in each member company can vote for two o...
August 01, 2017
(From left to right) Mark Jenkins, MAS+; Carl Hartschuh; PPAI Diversity and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett; Octaviano “Tavo” Valenzuela; PPAI Director of Member Engagement and Regional Relations Carol Gauger, MAS; PPAI Vice President, Business Development Alan Peterson; PPAI Major Account Manager-West Melissa Massey; PPAI Director of Finance AJ Hunter; and PPAI Associate Manager of Professional Development Jody Mello. PPB Associate Editor Julie Richie (not pictured) also participated in the to...
August 01, 2017
If this month’s PPB looks a little different to you—the PPB team thanks you for noticing. With the September issue, PPAI’s monthly magazine introduces a new logo, a new look and a new design team—North Carolina-based SPARK Publications—that is responsible for the refreshing new graphics, typefaces and color palette. “PPB celebrated its 40th year last month so it was a great time to reexamine how we were presenting our content to readers,” says Editor Tina Berres Filipski. “Our goal was to kee...
August 01, 2017
Delivering an industry perspective at the 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit, Richard Massey, SnugZ USA corporate counsel and legal and regulatory affairs director, is joining the speaker lineup to share his thoughts on what to do when a field investigator from a federal agency arrives—unannounced—on industry members’ doorsteps. Drawing from real world experiences, his session will focus on being prepared, knowing what to say and having the right paperwork on hand. A member of PPAI’s Pro...
August 01, 2017
The Arizona Promotional Products Association (AzPPA) has named Betsy Andrade, MBA, CAS, to be the regional association’s executive director, effective immediately. Andrade has been in the promotional products industry since 2001, working as a sales representative for Proforma Executive Sales before starting her own iPROMOTEu distributorship, Andrade Promotions, in 2010. She earned an MBA from Arizona State University in 1987. Andrade has also served on the AzPPA Board in a number of capacitie...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s 2017 board candidates include (from left) distributors Mitch Rhodus, CAS, of HALO Branded Solutions, and Danny Rosin, co-owner of Brand Fuel, Inc.; and suppliers Andrew Spellman, vice president of corporate channels at Victorinox Swiss Army, Inc., and Sharon Willochell, chief operating officer of Trimark. Voting has begun for the PPAI Board of Directors Class of 2021. PPAI members can cast their vote for two of the four candidates which were selected by the PPAI Elected Directors Nomi...
August 01, 2017
In support of those affected by the recent floods in Louisiana, SAGE will designate a dedicated donation area at The SAGE Show taking place this week in Irving, Texas. SAGE is asking for overruns or misprinted samples, t-shirts and other clothes, bottled water, sealed food, toiletries (soap, shampoo, toilet paper, personal hygiene products), items for pets/flooded shelters (leashes, bowls, beds, toys, food), children’s toys, backpacks and school supplies. SAGE will work with PPAI to get the i...
August 01, 2017
Perfect Promotions (UPIC: Perfe784), located outside Kansas City in Pleasant Hill, Missouri, has joined Facilisgroup (UPIC: Facilis), a community of promotional products distributors. “We’re looking forward to using the CRM tools and implementing the business services that Facilisgroup offers,” says Joan Charbonneau, CEO of Perfect Promotions. “We’re poised for growth and we know the Facilis community will help us achieve our goals.” Randy Conley, Facilisgroup’s vice president of new busin...
August 01, 2017
The U.S. advertising market is expected to reach a record high of $178 billion this year, a year-over-year increase of 5.8 percent. Advertising consulting and research firm Warc’s growth forecast for the U.S. market is the highest it has registered since 2010 and roughly double the expansion of the U.S. economy. On the backs of the Rio Olympics and the U.S. presidential election, television advertising is expected to post a 6.6-percent revenue increase to $68 billion this year. Digital media ...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes Larry Whitney, director, global compliance for the Polyconcept family of suppliers—Leed’s, Bullet, Journalbooks/Timeplanner Calendars and Trimark Sportswear Group, headquartered in New Kensington, Pennsylvania—as August’s PPB Volunteer of the Month. Whitney serves on PPAI’s Product Responsibility Action Group (PRAG) and is currently president of the board of directors for Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), and serves on QCA’s Compliance Committee. He was nominated ...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit is bringing back Neal Cohen, a product safety attorney and former small business ombudsman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to speak at the Summit’s closing session. Cohen, who has spoken at Summit and The PPAI Expo, will wrap up the program by providing guidance on how to stay on the right side of compliance even if you don’t have a team of compliance professionals. Cohen currently works with manufacturers and importers to guide them in ...
August 01, 2017
(from left) PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, moderates a panel discussion with Snugz USA Vice President of Sales Brittany David, CAS; Carpe Diem Sales & Marketing Co-Founder Mike Giordano; JB of Florida, a Division of Geiger, President Wayne Greenberg, MAS; and SAGE President David Natinsky, CAS, on industry trends and outlook. The Promotional Products Association of Florida (PPAF) held its 2016 PPAF Expo last week at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. T...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Geiger (UPIC: geiger), based in Lewiston, Maine, has been named as one of the 2016 Best Places to Work in Maine by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – Maine State Council and Best Companies Group. The statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Maine, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The 2016 Best Places to Work in Maine list is made up of 75 companies in three size c...
August 01, 2017
The fourth annual SAGE Show returns to the Irving Convention Center in Irving, Texas, next week. Running August 31-September 1, the show is bringing in more than 200 exhibitors from around the country. Distributor attendees from across the region will have access to an extensive show floor, plus the same high-quality education that industry practitioners find at The PPAI Expo and Expo East. As in previous years, SAGE has collaborated with PPAI on an extensive education lineup on Wednesday, Au...
August 01, 2017
Westbury, New York-based distributor Motivators, Inc. (UPIC: MOTIV8RS) has affiliated with distributor iPROMOTEu (UPIC: IPRO9320) to scale its online business, streamline its operations and position itself for future growth. “We’re excited to take this next step in our company’s evolution by joining forces with iPROMOTEu,” says Ken Laffer, Motivators’ CEO. “Their impressive business model gives us the gift of focus and we’re looking forward to the future growth our decision will bring.” Ro...
August 01, 2017
Marketers are expanding into digital platforms to be where their customers are, but continue to rely on traditional advertising channels such as television. A survey from business-to-business research firm Clutch and marketing agency R2integrated found that while television remains respondents’ No. 1 platform, nearly 85 percent of companies have a website and almost 80 percent are active on social media. Brand awareness is a key driver of their multi-channel approach, with nearly 35 percent o...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett speaks with an audience of PMANC members on selling to Millennial buyers. On August 16, PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett met with members of the Promotional Marketing Association of Northern California (PMANC) for a discussion on selling to the Millennial buyer. The event was held at the offices of distributor Lahlouh, Inc. (UPIC: IDEA0018) in Burlingame, California. Barnett focused the session on...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s September webinars explore best practices in business management, product liability and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in September include: Changing The Game: Is Your Customer Really Buying From You? September 7, 1pm CDT Four Health Insurance Strategies September 13, 1 pm CDT TSCA Reform ...
August 01, 2017
Working in collaboration with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), McDonald’s has announced a recall of “Step-iT” activity wristbands for causing skin irritation and burns to children. Available with Happy Meals and Mighty Kids Meals, about 29 million units were distributed in the U.S. and 3.6 million in Canada between August 9 and August 17. McDonalds has received more than 70 injury reports regarding the wristbands, including seven involving blisters. The China-manufactured wr...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Carhartt Workwear (UPIC: haws) has announced a voluntary recall of its flame-resistant (FR) sweatshirts. Carhartt has not received any reports of injuries or product failures. The Apex, North Carolina-based company says that test results indicate inconsistencies in the performance ratings of some FR garments, and they may not currently meet the requirements of NFPA 2112 and NFPA 70E. The standards, set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), oversee protections from flash...
August 01, 2017
The third annual PPAI Technology Summit drew more than 100 industry technology leaders to share and discuss IT issues and solutions. The third annual PPAI Technology Summit wrapped last week in San Francisco after two days of in-depth, diverse discussion on the issues, challenges and opportunities top-of-mind among industry technology professionals. Running August 17-18 in San Francisco, California, for the second year in a row Tech Summit was held in conjunction with the North American Lead...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s Summer webinars explore best practices in running a business, product liability and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in August and September include: Exit Planning: An Introduction to the IDEAL Exit Plan August 24, 1 pm CDT Changing The Game: Is Your Customer Really Buying From You? September 7...
August 01, 2017
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is partnering with Australian and Canadian regulators on product safety training in China and Vietnam. Staff members from the CPSC are collaborating with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in China and Health Canada in Vietnam to conduct free product safety training for buyers and sourcing professionals dealing in electrical/electronic products, apparel, furniture and toys from China and Vietnam. The training’s focus will be on pro...
August 01, 2017
PPAI and the promotional products industry have established strong relationships with industry regulators, including the Consumer Product Responsibility Commission (CPSC). CPSC commissioners have been an active presence at the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit for a number of years, and 2016 is no exception. Commissioners Robert Adler and Joseph P. Mohorovic are the luncheon speakers on September 19 and 20, respectively. Numerous CPSC staff members are also on the Summit agenda. John “Gib” M...
August 01, 2017
(From left) Lori Bolton-Herman, SAAC president; Rhett Todd, SAAC Show Committee chair; and Jacob Dobsch, SAAC vice-president, cut the ribbon to open the 2016 SAAC Show. The Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) brought the promotional products industry to Long Beach August 10-11 for the 2016 SAAC Show. With more than 1,800 attendees and 300 exhibitors, the two-day event featured extensive education, networking and trade show opportunities. Education at the SAAC Show was s...
August 01, 2017
Distributor 4imprint, Inc. (UPIC: 4imprint) has been named one of the 10 Best Workplaces in advertising and marketing by Great Place to Work® and Fortune. This is 4imprint’s second year on that list, which was published on the Fortune website August 22. The Great Place to Work Institute is a global research and management consultancy with expertise on workplace transformation and a mission to improve society by creating better workplaces. To build the list, Great Place to Work reviews anonymo...
August 01, 2017
The third annual PPAI Technology Summit got under way Wednesday in San Francisco, California, bringing together more than 100 industry technology professionals at all levels to share best practices and case studies, and to discuss critical topics and some of the solutions available. Introduced in conjunction with Expo East 2014, this is the second year the summit has followed the PPAI North American Leadership Conference, which wrapped up on Tuesday. The two-day education event was developed ...
August 01, 2017
Several promotional products businesses appear on Inc. magazine’s 2016 Inc. 5000 ranking of the country’s fastest-growing private companies. To qualify for the 2016 Inc. 5000, businesses must be privately owned and based in the United States. Only businesses with at least $100,000 in sales by March 31, 2012, and $2 million in 2015 were eligible. “The Inc. 5000 list stands out where it really counts,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “It honors real achievement by a fo...
August 01, 2017
Distributor Cintas Corporation (UPIC: CINTP001) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire G&K Services, a service-focused provider of branded uniform and facility services programs in the U.S. and Canada. Cincinnati, Ohio-based Cintas will acquire all outstanding shares of G&K Services for $97.50 per share in cash, for a total enterprise value of approximately $2.2 billion, including acquired net debt. The purchase price represents a premium of about 19 percent to the closing pr...
August 01, 2017
The more than 130 business leaders at PPAI’s North American Leadership Conference in San Francisco this week spent two full days learning, listening, discussing and debating the issues critical in today’s business climate including innovation, disruption, profit erosion, technology, artificial intelligence, apps, business models, the changing industry landscape and the economy. These discussions were led by experts from an elite group of entrepreneurs, advisors, economists, strategists, business...
August 01, 2017
Consumer confidence slipped in July in the University of Michigan’s Surveys of Consumers, down from last month and from July 2015, but it remains at a reasonably high level. Conducted by the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR) since 1946, the surveys monitor consumer attitudes and expectations. ISR points to rising concerns about prospects for the economy, mainly expressed by upper income households, for the decline. Uncertainties surrounding global economic prospects and the presidential...
August 01, 2017
Last week, PPAI Government Relations Manager Joseph Landeros attended the National Conference of State Legislators in Chicago, Illinois, in an effort to continue building on the Association’s state level outreach and legislative development. The legislative summit attracted more than 5,000 attendees from the U.S.and abroad, with eight other countries represented, including South Africa, Nigeria and The Virgin Islands. The summit offers a forum to exchange ideas and learn different viewpoints, an...
August 01, 2017
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would exempt four plastics—polypropylene, polyethylene, high-impact polystyrene and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene—from third-party testing for compliance with the mandatory phthalates prohibitions on children’s toys and childcare articles. The proposed rule would determine that the specified four plastics and accompanying additives do not contain the statutorily prohibited phthalates (DEHP, DBP, ...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit brings industry professionals together with regulatory and compliance experts, representatives from safety labs, and industry thought leaders this September in Washington, D.C., and sends them home with a free copy of the PPAI Sourcing and Compliance Manual. The manual, which is valued at $495, provides a guide for industry companies to get their compliance programs up and running quickly and efficiently based on the five pillars of compliance: soci...
August 01, 2017
Eric McDermott, managing partner of Pacific Advisors, and former owner of Bonzolio, a distributor which serviced the financial services industry, discussed 10 principles of economics. The speaker lineup for this week’s North American Leadership Conference in San Francisco reads like a who’s who of economic, innovation and disruption experts—and, just as impressively, one of these experts had a previous career as a distributor. Eric McDermott, managing partner of Pacific Advisors, a financ...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPB Rising Stars in attendance at Sunday’s presentation were, from left, (front row) Esmeralda Anaya, Beau Ashton, Remy Kawaguchi, Dan Webb, CAS, Ryan Hanchey, Elson Yeung, (back row) Kenny Ved, Tim Hennessy, Jr. and Kevin Mullaney. Not pictured is Keith Lofton, CAS. Millennials took center stage on Sunday evening at the opening dinner for the PPAI North American Leadership Conference in San Francisco. Twelve up-and-coming young leaders were recognized during the annual PPB Rising S...
August 01, 2017
As first announced in a PPB Newslink Breaking News this morning, PPAI has named Margie Price, MAS, president of St. Louis-based distributor Premiums Plus, Inc. (UPIC: PREMPLUS), and Joel Schaffer, MAS, president of Soundline, LLC (UPIC: 1SOUNDLN) in Randolph, New Jersey, as the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees. The announcement was made at the PPAI North American Leadership Conference in San Francisco, California, on Monday afternoon. Since 1977, the PPAI Hall of Fame has been honoring leaders in ...
August 01, 2017
Joe Scott, vice president of Chanhassen, Minnesota-based distributor Scott & Associates, Inc. (UPIC: SCOTTASC), was announced as the 2017 PPAI Distinguished Service Award honoree on Monday at the PPAI North American Leadership Conference in San Francisco, California. The news was first reported in a PPB Newslink Breaking News this morning. The PPAI Distinguished Service Award recognizes PPAI members who consistently contribute their skills and expertise toward the betterment of the Associati...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI North American Leadership Conference (NALC) kicked off in earnest Monday morning in San Francisco with an opening session led by famed economist Dr. Arthur Laffer. Laffer, whose presentation focused on the economy and the potential impact of the election, has been called the father of supply-side economics and is credited with triggering a worldwide tax-cutting movement in the 1980s. The Laffer Curve is one of the main theoretical constructs of supply-side economics, illustrating t...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Hub Pen Company (UPIC: HUBPEN) has adopted PromoStandards and put in place technology service to implement and support it. PromoStandards is a nonprofit group of industry IT professionals that focuses on the development of technology standards to enable system-to-system communication in an effort to reduce the frictional cost of business between suppliers and distributors. To date, Hub Pen has released the Inventory and Order Status standards and is currently testing the Shipping Not...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit, coming up in September in Washington, D.C., welcomes Health Canada’s Carlie Watson to speak on Health Canada’s reporting requirements and cross-border recalls. The Summit brings industry professionals together for presentations from regulatory and compliance experts, representatives from safety labs and industry thought leaders, and lets them carve their own path through a series of breakout sessions throughout the three-day event, September 18-20. ...
August 01, 2017
The Specialty Advertising Association of California (SAAC) has introduced a newly redesigned logo as part of its rebranding initiative. The logo, introduced with a new website, and the initiative are focused on better representing its membership and the future direction of the association. The SAAC logo’s development was led by a diverse group of members and is intended to reflect a more professional association and places value on community, relationships and connectivity. SAAC President Lor...
August 01, 2017
North American consumer confidence was on the rise in second quarter 2016, as globally it remained flat. Nielsen’s second quarter Consumer Confidence Index reading for North America was up three points from first quarter to 111, while globally it stood at 98. Up two points from the same period in 2015, global confidence levels have hovered between 96 and 99 in the three years since first quarter 2014. Nielsen’s Consumer Confidence Index measures perceptions of local job prospects, personal fi...
August 01, 2017
Supplier BIC Graphic (UPIC: BIC) registered an increase in net sales of 2.3 percent on a constant currency basis in the first half of 2016. In parent company BIC Group’s release of financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2016, it notes that BIC Graphic turned in good performances in key countries such as France and Germany, and that in North America its “Good Value” line and new products continued to perform well, driving growth in both hard goods and writing instruments. B...
August 01, 2017
Supplier Delta Apparel, Inc. (UPIC: delta03) has reported its earnings for the third quarter and first nine months of its fiscal year, noting $111.6 million and $310.9 million in net sales, respectively. The third quarter’s figures exclude a $1.8 million pre-tax charge taken during the quarter in connection with a manufacturing realignment comprised of $1.6 million in restructuring activities and $0.2 million in manufacturing inefficiencies. While net sales in the 2016 third quarter were nega...
August 01, 2017
4imprint Group PLC, parent of Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based distributor 4imprint (UPIC: 4imprint), has appointed Paul Moody its non-executive chairman. Moody’s new role goes into effect on December 1, when current chairman John Poulter retires. Poulter had announced at 4imprint’s 2016 Annual General Meeting that he would be retiring towards the end of the year. "I am delighted to be appointed as non-executive chairman and very much look forward to working with my colleagues on the board in the con...
August 01, 2017
Gemline (UPIC: GEMLINE) has announced an expanded, long-term partnership with Moleskine. The Lawrence, Massachusetts-based company is the exclusive supplier of Moleskine within the promotional products industry and will now offer the entire product line throughout the United States and Canada. The partnership, first announced in 2013, originally enabled Gemline to carry a select offering of Moleskine notebooks and journals. “We have experienced tremendous growth with Moleskine in the past two...
August 01, 2017
Fran Ford (center), receives a plaque marking his induction into the Proforma Hall of Fame, with Founder Greg Muzzillo and CEO Vera Muzzillo Distributor Proforma brought more than 800 owners, sales representatives, supplier partners and support team members together recently for four days of education sessions, motivational events and celebrating their successes at its 29th Annual Proforma Convention & Family Reunion, held at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. During the event, Profor...
August 01, 2017
Dr. Marion Steel (second from right), an at-large board member of the Australasian Promotional Products Association, visited PPAI headquarters, where she met with (from left) Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett, Editor Tina Berres Filipski, Public Affairs Director Anne Stone, and President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, among others. PPAI frequently welcomes members and guests at its headquarters in Irving, Texas, but Monday’s visit by Dr. Marion Steel was especially app...
August 01, 2017
Promotional professionals are working harder than ever to meet deadlines and satisfy customer needs while dodging problems and overcoming challenges. If you’re lucky, you’ve found a service superhero who goes above and beyond what’s expected—and makes you look like a star. Help PPB identify those who deliver top customer service—in your company or a vendor company—even if the person is not working in a typical “customer service” role. Salespeople, owners, managers—they too can demonstrate exe...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s Summer webinars explore the upcoming PPAI Board elections, best practices in running a business and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in August and September include: Get To Know Your PPAI Distributor Board Candidates August 22, 1 pm CDT Get To Know Your PPAI Supplier Board Candidates August 22,...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit’s schedule brings industry professionals together for presentations from regulatory and compliance experts, representatives from safety labs and industry thought leaders, and lets them explore their own path through a series of breakout sessions throughout the three-day event, September 18-20 in National Harbor, Maryland. One such session, on September 19, takes a close look at the risks associated with shipping lithium-ion batteries, how to mitigat...
August 01, 2017
Geiger has awarded David Kennealey, who operates his affiliation with Geiger under the company name Brandhero Promotions, Inc. (UPIC: G679383), its GEM Award in recognition of marketing excellence. Presented at the Geiger Galleria last month in Phoenix, Arizona, the award spotlights sales professionals who have effectively utilized creative marketing concepts or tools to positively impact their business. Kennealey, based in Medway, Massachusetts, has worked in the promotional products industr...
August 01, 2017
NALC's speakers include opening dinner speaker Ishmael Beah, economist Dr. Arthur Laffer and UC Berkley's Toby Stuart. The 2016 PPAI North American Leadership Conference (NALC) opens next week in San Francisco, California. Running August 14-16 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, the three-day event brings industry leaders from across the country together with a high-powered speaker lineup. NALC offers attendees opportunities to connect with and learn from innovators and thought leaders dr...
August 01, 2017
ITR Economics’ second quarter Market Outlook Report for the promotional products industry forecasts conservative growth for suppliers and distributors through the last half of 2016 that will ramp up significantly in 2017. The economic research and consulting firm revised its supplier outlook downward from its last report due to weaker-than-expected second quarter results, and expects supplier growth of 0.6 percent over the last half of 2016. However, the report is optimistic about 2017, point...
August 01, 2017
On August 4, PPB Newslink reported that Deluxe Corporation (UPIC: NEB00001) had acquired Winder, Georgia-based distributor InkHead.com (UPIC: InkHead). The acquisition went into effect on July 19 and terms have not been released. InkHead’s team has become a part of Deluxe Corporation’s small business operations and will continue to work out of their Winder, Georgia, office. While the InkHead brand will continue for the time being, Deluxe will evaluate the timing necessary to bring it under th...
August 01, 2017
Suppliers Visstun (UPIC: VISSTUN), CounterPoint (UPIC: DOYOUPOP) and Digispec (UPIC: DIGISPEC), part of a family of companies headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, have restructured their sales department, combining the sales teams from each of the three brands into a single sales force. “When we create a major new product line, we introduce it with a unique brand name and sales team. This helps the new idea grow and gain market share quickly,” says Joe Davis, director of sales and customer ser...
August 01, 2017
After rising in June, The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index continued its climb into July. The index now stands at 128.28, up from 127.89 in June. The change represents a 1.6-percent gain in the ETI compared to a year ago. “The Employment Trends Index is still suggesting that job growth will slow in the coming months, despite strong employment numbers for June and July,” says The Conference Board’s Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America. “It is surprising that hiring has been so...
August 01, 2017
HALO's National Sales Meeting drew more than 250 top account executives and over 150 supplier personnel to San Diego, California's Rancho Bernardo. HALO Branded Solutions’ (UPIC: HBS) recent annual National Sales Meeting brought more than 250 of the distributor’s top account executives and over 150 supplier personnel from its Preferred Supplier Program to the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California. “The HALO account executives in attendance represented over $180 million in 2015 sale...
August 01, 2017
Harris Wolin, a patent attorney specializing in intellectual property law and a partner at the Myers Wolin law firm, will join the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit in September to discuss patent infringement and intellectual property issues from a customs, legal and practical perspective. Product responsibility guidelines are always changing and the industry must be able to quickly adapt to an evolving marketplace. The 2016 Summit, to be held September 18-20 in National Harbor, Maryland, br...
August 01, 2017
First announced Wednesday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, the Promotional Products Education Foundation (PPEF) has established a perpetual scholarship in the name of Bill Schmidt, Sr., CEO of Largo, Florida-based supplier Hit Promotional Products, who passed away in April. Funded by a personal gift of $50,000 from Schmidt’s wife Liz and son CJ, Hit’s president, the Bill Schmidt, Sr. Scholarship is only the fourth perpetual named scholarship in PPEF history. “He loved our company and th...
August 01, 2017
As reported earlier today in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, Deluxe Corporation (UPIC: NEB00001) has acquired Winder, Georgia-based distributor InkHead.com (UPIC: InkHead). Deluxe Small Business Services, a subsidiary brand of Shoreview, Minnesota-headquartered Deluxe Corporation, provides end-to-end marketing solutions for small businesses, from website development to logos to email marketing and printed products. The acquisition of InkHead.com, an online technology company focused exclu...
August 01, 2017
The British Promotional Merchandise Association (bpma) is bringing together education, trade-show and networking opportunities next month at the 2016 bpma Show. The bpma Show opens with an education day on September 13 at Whittlebury Hall, near the trade-show site at the Silverstone Racetrack. The 13 speakers on the day’s agenda include authors, subject matter experts and industry figures from the UK and the U.S. Popular motivational speaker Nigel Risney returns for a second appearance at the...
August 01, 2017
Influencer marketing platform provider TapInfluence has released the results of a study surveying how marketers and influencers work together, where and how investments in the field are progressing, and how to accommodate the category’s growth. “Influencer marketing is promising in its ability to drive community engagement and peer-to-peer action,” says Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter, a technology research firm that collaborated with TapInfluence on the study. “As marketers exper...
August 01, 2017
PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett spoke to an audience of professionals both within and outside the advertising industry on Millennial engagement at the AAF-SC's professional development event. PPAI Diversity Development and Engagement Manager Seth Barnett joined the American Advertising Federation-Space Coast (AAF-SC) in Melbourne, Florida, last month to speak at the organization’s professional development session. Speaking on the latest findings and best practi...
August 01, 2017
Six industry professionals have earned their Master Advertising Professional (MAS) and Certified Advertising Professional (CAS) industry certifications in June and July, joining an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the promotional products industry and to continuing their education. PPAI certifications are awarded to professionals in the promotional products industry who have met rigorous educational requirements and demonstrate exemplary commitment to their...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s August webinars explore the upcoming PPAI Board elections, decorating performance wear and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in August include: Decorating Performance Wear August 10, 1 pm CDT Get To Know Your PPAI Distributor Board Candidates August 22, 1 pm CDT Get To Know Your PPAI Supplier...
August 01, 2017
(from left) Rep. Pete Sessions' Chief of Staff Matt Garcia welcomed John Porter, SAGE Director of Information Services Dana Floyd Porter and PPAI Government Relations Manager Joseph Landeros during their visit to the Congressman's office. On Tuesday, SAGE Director of Information Services Dana Floyd, along with her husband John Porter and PPAI Government Relations Manager Joseph Landeros met with Matt Garcia, chief of staff of Rep. Pete Sessions at the congressman’s office as part of the Asso...
August 01, 2017
John “Gib” Mullan, chief counsel to CPSC Commissioner Ann Marie Buerkle, is joining the 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit to lead a panel discussion on how voluntary standards impact safety and considerations when selecting products that may not have established voluntary standards. Product responsibility guidelines are always changing and the industry must be able to quickly adapt to an evolving marketplace. The 2016 Summit, to be held September 18-20 in National Harbor, Maryland, brin...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 Summer Olympics begin this weekend in Rio de Janeiro, kicking off two weeks of international competition and capturing the world’s attention. Alongside the sports, the athletes and the spectacle will be millions of products emblazoned with the Olympic rings and sponsor logos, and many of those items will be provided by industry distributors Bensussen Deutsch & Associates (BDA) (UPIC: BENS0002) and Staples Promotional Products (UPIC: AMER0016). BDA and Staples are the U.S. Olympic...
August 01, 2017
Safeguard Business Systems (UPIC: SAFE0003) has named SAGE its preferred provider of research, marketing and business management services. In the agreement, SAGE will provide Safeguard network locations with special corporate pricing on select SAGE products and services. This includes the SAGE Total Access subscription, consisting of the SAGE Online product research and business management tool; as well as SAGE Web, the browser-based platform to access SAGE tools from any device with web acce...
August 01, 2017
Skylight Creative Ideas of Bel Air, Maryland, has joined the Premier Group, a member-driven alliance of more than 75 suppliers and independent distributors dedicated to improving business relationships through networking and sharing best practices. Skylight Creative has been in the industry for 39 years and is owned by Bob Titelman, Sr., and Bob Titelman, Jr. The company is also active in its regional association, the Chesapeake Promotional Products Association. Bob Jr. is currently treasurer...
August 01, 2017
Personalized digital marketing leaves some consumers with questions, reports customer relationship management specialists Amaze One. Its research uncovered significant concern among consumers over how their information is collected and the control they have over it. “There is a fine balance between digital creepiness and a great personalized experience,” says Paul Kennedy, data strategy director at Amaze One. “Now that the data and technology is mature and available to deliver and measure thi...
August 01, 2017
Ryan Cudney, a senior vice president at Edelman’s Corporate Reputation and Risk Management practice, will be joining a panel discussion at the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit this September. Cudney will join Cheryl Falvey, co-chair of Crowell & Moring’s Advertising & Product Risk Management Group, and Carol Cave, deputy director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Office of Compliance and Field Operations, in a discussion on crisis management from regulatory, legal and ...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s updated sourcing and compliance manual, designed to help industry professionals boost their product responsibility efforts, will be complimentary for attendees of the 2016 PPAI Product Responsibility Summit September 18-20 in Washington, D.C. This manual serves as a guide for getting an efficient compliance program up and running. The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges American companies to develop documented product responsibility policies and corrective action plans, but many c...
August 01, 2017
PPAI has named the inaugural recipients of the Association’s new Fellows Program. Introduced in the June issue of PPB, the Fellows program recognizes and thanks influential individuals who have actively supported the industry through their personal involvement. PPAI Fellows further contribute to a culture of engagement, involvement and leadership throughout the Association. Click here for a full listing of the inaugural class of PPAI Fellows. Eligibility into the program will be considered...
August 01, 2017
Promotional products have a long history in political campaigns and party conventions, and they were on full display last week in Cleveland, Ohio, during the Republican National Convention. This week, attention turned to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the Democratic National Convention and the promotional products followed. In March, PPB Newslink spoke with distributor Impact Dimensions, LLC (UPIC: IMPA0005), after it was selected by the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for the Democratic Na...
August 01, 2017
Quality Resource Group (UPIC: PBPLINC), a distributor based in Plymouth, Minnesota, has joined buying group Reciprocity Road, a group with a philanthropic focus launched earlier this year by distributors MadeToOrder, Inc.; Brand Fuel, Inc.; The Icebox; Zagwear; Image Source; C&S Sales and Robyn Promotions. Its members intend to build better businesses together while making their communities stronger. Reciprocity Road’s founding distributors endorsed QRG after a thorough review process inc...
August 01, 2017
As new technologies play a transformational role in marketing departments’ roles and responsibilities, marketers have a growing understanding of its importance in their field. A survey by DataXu, a programmatic marketing and analytics platform, found that a clear majority of marketers believe understanding marketing technologies (78 percent) and digital media (72 percent) are mission-critical skills, while 65 percent identify themselves as data literate. DataXu’s survey of more than 500 senio...
August 01, 2017
Buoyed by strong consumer spending, U.S. real GDP grew 2.1 percent over the past three months, reports ITR Economics’ July 2016 ITR Advisor report. Consumer spending’s uptick is driven by 2.1 percent growth in U.S. total retail sales and a 4.5-percent increase in retail sales excluding gas stations. An economic research and consulting firm providing economic information, insight, analysis and proactive strategies, ITR works with PPAI to produce quarterly market outlook reports on the promotio...
August 01, 2017
This month, PPAI recognizes Phil Martin, national sales manager at supplier Warwick Publishing Company (UPIC: WARWICK) in Saint Charles, Illinois, as July’s PPB Volunteer of the Month. Martin serves as chair of the Awards & Recognition Committee and was nominated by Steven Meyer, vice president of sales at supplier RiteLine, LLC (UPIC: RiteLine) and member of the Awards & Recognition Committee. The Association’s PPB Volunteer of the Month recognition celebrates individuals who have de...
August 01, 2017
PPAI’s August webinars explore regulatory issues, the upcoming PPAI Board elections and other issues important to industry professionals. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars in August include: State Regulations Deep Dive August 3, 1 pm CDT Decorating Performance Wear August 10, 1 pm CDT PPAI Distributor Board Elections 2016 August 22, 1 pm CDT Ex...
August 01, 2017
The 2016 PPAI North American Leadership Conference (NALC) is coming to San Francisco, California, August 14-16 and is bringing a high-powered speaker lineup with it. Business leaders and innovators from across the industry are gathering at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco for the latest on today’s issues, ideas and challenges with experts from across the business world, including famed economist Dr. Arthur Laffer. Laffer, who will speak on August 15 about the economy and the potential impact o...
August 01, 2017
At the end of June, the Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee released their tax reform proposal. This blueprint for tax reform is among a handful of issue-based proposals that House Republicans released to help frame the party platform in advance of the convention and the November elections. Now that it has had the opportunity to closely review the proposal and monitor various responses to it, the Small Business Legislative Council (SLBC) has followed up to provide more detail. T...
August 01, 2017
As of July 1, Charlotte, North Carolina-based distributor Activate! Promotions + Marketing is officially operating as BrandAlliance. The name change is the result of a merger between the two organizations that was executed on June 30, 2015. The combined company will have an increased international presence with minimal business overlap, and a greater, more aligned service set. Fred Parker, president of Activate! parent A Brand Company, says, “A lot of hard work has gone into pulling together ...
August 01, 2017
Davie, Florida-based SCG & Associates has joined Facilisgroup (UPIC: Facilis), a community of promotional products distributors. “We have received lots of great feedback from our business partners about Facilisgroup,” says Barry Greenberger, president and CEO of SCG & Associates. “We are honored to be a part of such a prestigious group and are looking forward to getting started.” David Greenberger, SCG & Associates’ CFO, adds, “The combination of the CSR and the CRM platform is...
August 01, 2017
Distributor The Creative J (UPIC: 1817) has joined Geiger (UPIC: geiger) as an affiliate. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company’s team consists of Jill Adams, CAS, owner; Valerie Sutej, marketing and apparel consultant; and Natalie Griffith, assistant promotional consultant. “We are excited to be a member of the Geiger team as we now have the opportunity to offer many new services to our clients,” says Adams. By affiliating with Geiger, The Creative J team will focus on expanding client opportuni...
August 01, 2017
Christa MacPherson, a sales rep with Vancouver, British Columbia, distributor Image Group, Inc. (UPIC: IMAG0001), passed away on July 14. She was 55. MacPherson’s career included time with Xerox and training as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Special Constable, and she also worked at the Edmonton International Airport. She became a partner in Vancouver’s Art Works Gallery and started her own custom corporate art and gifts business, Corporate Impressions. She later sold the business to ...
August 01, 2017
Essent Corporation’s (UPIC: essent) Stephen Lussier and DistributorCentral’s (UPIC: DC) Chris Schlemmer and David Shultz have been named the recipients of the 2016 PPAI Tech Summit Awards. The winners will be recognized August 17-18 at the PPAI Technology Summit in San Francisco, California. Through its Internal Innovator and Industry Collaborator recognitions, the PPAI Tech Summit Awards showcases and celebrates technology advances that bring success to individual companies and the industry ...
August 01, 2017
Carol Cave, deputy director of the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Office of Compliance and Field Operations, will be joining the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit’s speaker lineup this September. Cave will host an interactive simulation of a national product safety recall with summit attendees, giving them an up-close look at crisis management from regulatory, legal and public perception perspectives. The session, Recall Crisis! It Finally Happened! Now What?, features Cave along w...
August 01, 2017
Finally, there’s good news for U.S. employers and their employees: nearly half of workers are satisfied with their jobs. The Conference Board’s Job Satisfaction survey reports that job satisfaction is at its highest level since 2005 and U.S. workers’ positive attitudes toward their jobs have increased every year since 2010. The survey’s results are based on workers’ perceptions of their current role and workplace environment, and the data is collected as part of The Conference Board Consumer ...
August 01, 2017