Monthly Archives: November 2013

Respond To Potential Advertising Expenditure Changes

It has been a busy couple of weeks in Congress. I would like to draw your attention to an issue that I hope you would take action on before the Thanksgiving holiday.

As many of you may know, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, released tax reform draft bills earlier this week that address many areas of potential tax reform. One particular item in the bill directly affects the promotional products industry and its operation as an effective advertising medium. The bill, if passed, would allow only 50% of advertising expenses to be deducted in the current year with the remaining 50% amortized over 5 years. Currently, advertising expenditures are 100% deductible in the year the expenditures are incurred.

It is imperative that all of us contact our Members of Congress to address this issue and ask that tax expenditures for advertising not be changed.

Many legislators still don’t fully understand that promotional products are the most cost-effective method for businesses, nonprofits and government entities to market and raise awareness of their programs. Too few elected officials know how essential promotional products are to the marketing mix, and the industry, to the national economy. Businesses should be able to deduct advertising expenses as part of their operation.

I urge you to add your voice to ours and remind your Senators and Representative in Washington, D.C. that the promotional products industry is an effective advertising resource by using this link to send an email to your Senators and Representative right now.

Take action today to protect advertising expenditures and the promotional products industry. As always, you can gain additional updates at www.ppailaw.org. Thank you for your consideration and I wish you and your family a happy Thanksgiving.

The Tchotchke Is Alive And Well…And Thriving — Point/Counterpoint

Whether an appeal to a federal agency or a lighthearted blog banter, the facts are on our side and we have an obligation to present them.
 
Recently I had the opportunity to respond to a lighthearted blog post by Todd Wilms, SAP’s Head of Social Business Strategy, on The Sad Death of the Beloved Tchotchke. Although humorous in nature, I take this type of commentary seriously. On behalf of our “beloved tchotchke,” this was my rebuttal as published in today’s Forbes.com SAPVoice blog post.
 
I would like to thank Todd Wilms and SAP for the opportunity to share our voice.
 
 

Please allow me to present a somewhat different view of promotional products—perhaps one never considered—in support of the ‘beloved tchotchke,’ a.k.a. promotional product.

An imprinted t-shirt raises more than $7,000 for a teenager battling the cancer and unites a community around hope. On a winter day in New York, imprinted blankets distributed to the homeless transform into a message of hope, caring and community. A key chain with a whistle handed out to students at a self-defense class becomes an empowering tool. A t-shirt given to children at a summer outdoor program is a memorable, functional keepsake. When the shirt is decorated with the phone number to call if the child is lost, the imprinted shirt becomes a prudent safety precaution.

An imprinted t-shirt, blanket, a functional key chain—they help save lives. They create community. They stir hope and purpose. They have an undeniable, beneficial impact on our world.

The items you perceive as obsolete are anything but. The truth is this form of advertising is stronger than ever. In fact, some of the salient points raised in your post are exactly why promotional products are one of the most effective, cost-efficient and longest-lasting media used by advertisers, marketers, social media aficionados and SAP. Compared to other media, promotional products are the sixth fastest-growing advertising medium, ranking eighth among traditional and digital media in annual expenditures at $18.5 billion.

To savvy advertisers and marketers, promotional products are the secret weapon in the marketing arsenal because they are the only tangible advertising medium with the ability to deliver a touchable, tasteable, seeable, hearable and smell-able sensory engagement—the total brand experience. More importantly, promotional products are the only advertising for which consumers say, “Thank you!”

The message is pretty clear, when used as part of an integrated advertising strategy or as a standalone medium, promotional products deliver some pretty impressive results.

We couldn't agree more with the message on the SAP merchandise site, "All products function, design or benefit are linked to how we want to be perceived as a company. This shop provides products that convey the strength of the SAP brand, that will inspire and enhance a true sense of belonging. Enjoy!"

Paul Bellantone, CAE, PPAI President & CEO
“We couldn’t agree more with the message on the SAP merchandise site, ‘All products function, design or benefit are linked to how we want to be perceived as a company. This shop provides products that convey the strength of the SAP brand, that will inspire and enhance a true sense of belonging. Enjoy!'”

When professionally designed and produced, and used as part of strategic plan, promotional products generate interest, action, sales, referrals and loyalty—in short results. These results distinguish them as one of the most effective and arguably the longest-lasting and best-loved advertising media in the world.

Read today’s Forbes post here.

Read the original piece on Forbes here.

U.S. Marshals Service’s Use of Appropriated Funds to Purchase Promotional Items

Recently several national media outlets reported on the U.S. Marshals Service’s Use of Appropriated Funds to Purchase Promotional Items.

Below, in a letter to the media, we present the facts.

With regard to POLITICO’s news story published on November 5, 2013, about the U.S. Marshals Service’s Use of Appropriated Funds to Purchase Promotional Items, please allow me to present a different view on the efficacy of promotional products.

The promotional items deemed “not necessary,” according to the article, are anything but. In fact, points raised in the article are exactly why promotional products are one of the most effective, cost-efficient and longest-lasting media used by advertisers, marketers and the U.S. Marshals Service. Compared to other media, promotional products are the sixth fastest-growing advertising medium, ranking eighth among traditional and digital media in annual expenditures at $18.5 billion. The government report actually acknowledges this in its findings.

Anyone, including the U.S. government that has used promotional products knows why they will use them again. Promotional products are the only tangible advertising medium with the ability to deliver a sensory-level brand engagement experience as well as an 88-percent brand name recall and retention of one and up to four years among consumers.

Promotional products generate interest, action and loyalty—in short results. These results distinguish them as one of the most effective, longest-lasting and best-loved advertising media in the world. For more information: www.ppai.org/research.

I am happy to talk with you about the effectiveness of promotional products and the vibrant business community I represent. I can be reached at 972-258-3050 or by e-mail at PaulB@ppai.org.

Sincerely,

Paul Bellantone, CAE

CALL TO ACTION

Once again, I must ask you to be ever watchful and vigilant in protecting the interests of the promotional products industry. Included below are steps you can take now and in the future when these types of reports occur:

  1. Immediately share the news with PPAI by emailing stories/reports to PR@ppai.org
  2. Keep an eye out for rumors and threats to the industry’s credibility–if you hear of something, let us know.
  3. Advocate! Stand up for the industry that has been so good to you and to all of us—defend its good name.
  4. And finally, know the facts. They are strongly in our favor. For more information visit, http://www.ppai.org/inside-ppai/research/