News
April 19, 2018
In a process that began February 8 and concluded March 30, 94 PPAI member companies competed for inclusion on PPB’s coveted list of the 60 Greatest Companies To Work For. Thirty-two distributors, 25 suppliers and three business services companies succeeded by receiving the highest scores based on results of a 15-question survey where employees rated their company in five areas: benefits, resources, culture, leadership and company direction. The results were under wraps until the companies were n...
April 19, 2018
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has published a list of proposed changes to its age determination guidelines relating children’s ages to toy characteristics and play behavior. Age labeling provides parents and other consumers guidance on selecting proper toys for children. The CPSC’s new guidance, “Guidelines for Determining Age Appropriateness of Toys,” is intended to address toys “that have come onto the market since the last update and provide changes to the recommended age grou...
April 19, 2018
The British Manufacturing (Briman) Group hosted a meeting of its members at the UK’s House of Commons earlier this week for dinner and a presentation by Jonathan Djanogly MP, a member of the British Parliament, on the business implications of Brexit, the country’s withdrawal from the European Union. The Briman Group was formed by the British Promotional Marketing Association (BPMA) to support British manufacturers of promotional products. Its membership includes 19 manufacturers. Representatives...
April 19, 2018
PPAI is currently updating its certification program to provide a better overall learning experience for industry professionals. The program redesign is based on feedback from members who have been through the program, including members of the PPAI Certification Committee. To ensure a smooth transition for all members in pursuit of certification or certification renewal, the Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS), Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) and Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) progr...
April 19, 2018
Along with revisiting select education sessions from The PPAI Expo 2018, the Association’s webinar series in the coming weeks explores several areas to help industry professionals improve their business, from communication best practices and co-op advertising to communicating the importance of compliance to end buyers. The schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. All sessions are free to PPAI members and associate...
April 17, 2018
Registration for the 2018 PPAI SPARK Conference, July 19-21 in Nashville, Tennessee, has sold out—13 weeks in advance. Now in its second year, the event’s rapid adoption points to a seismic shift in the industry’s needs amid evolving demographics in the promotional products industry. In recent years, as the average age in the promotional products industry has risen, a common concern has been about attracting more youth to the industry. As it turns out, members of the younger generation were with...
April 17, 2018
Distributor HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 106462) has brought Dan McEntee on as senior vice president of global sourcing. McEntee most recently served as president of industry supplier Golden Pacific after many years in a variety of leadership positions at distributor Staples Promotional Products. McEntee will report to Jim Stutz, HALO executive vice president of business development. “Our global sourcing has increased substantially over the past year with several key acquisitions that focus on l...
April 17, 2018
Boost Engagement, dba Shumsky and Boost Rewards, (PPAI 108541), an industry distributor headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, has acquired Charlotte, Ohio-based IMPACT Plus (PPAI 567781). The acquisition, effective immediately, includes all service and support of IMPACT Plus’ existing customers. “This acquisition comes at an exciting time for our company,” says Dawn Conway, CEO of Shumsky. “After a record year in 2017, we continue to look for opportunities to serve our growing customer base and expand ...
April 17, 2018
The Partnering Group, LLC, an exclusive industry organization comprised of 20 distributor members, held its spring sales seminar this week in Chicago, Illinois. The event brought together top-producing distributor salespeople and a select group of suppliers for a day and a half of high-value networking and education. PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, also joined the seminar to deliver a presentation on the health of the industry, the trends within it, and an outline of the Association...
April 17, 2018
Laura Holt, MAS, Geiger regional vice president, retired on April 13 after 18 years with the company. Lewiston, Maine-based distributor Geiger (PPAI 105182) acquired Holt’s company, Holt Marketing Group Ltd, in 2000. She had established the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company in 1984. After joining Geiger, Holt served in a variety of sales management capacities throughout several regions in the country. Holt has served as an Arizona Promotional Products Association (AzPPA) board member and as chai...
April 17, 2018
Canadian distributor Creative Concepts, based in Edmonton, Alberta, has affiliated with iPROMOTEu (PPAI 218870), a network of independent promotional products distributors in the United States and Canada. “Our experienced team of 16 marketing professionals and staff searched the industry for a comprehensive software and support system that would allow us to continue to grow rapidly,” says Pete Kmech, co-owner of Creative Concepts. “We learned that iPROMOTEu’s investment in technology was second ...
April 17, 2018
Who are the most watchable young pros among your employees, coworkers, clients, vendors, reps and fellow industry members? PPB is seeking the most innovative and ambitious young leaders in companies across the industry for recognition through its annual Rising Stars program. We need your help identifying those fresh-faced up-and-comers who are leading change and innovation and driving their businesses to higher levels of success. Being selected as a PPB Rising Star is among the industry’s most c...
April 17, 2018
PPAI Public Affairs Director Anne Stone joined the Incentive Manufacturers & Representatives Alliance (IMRA) in Memphis, Tennessee, this week to speak at its 2018 Marketing Conference. Stone provided a high-level review of recent tax reform and focused specifically on its impact on the rewards and incentive marketplace. She also spoke about how this legislation affects small and mid-sized companies. In her presentation, Stone explained the odyssey of section 274(j) in the tax code during the...
April 17, 2018
Distributor Vistaprint’s (PPAI 565755) Windsor, Ontario, manufacturing facility has been named “Best of the Best” in Printing Industries of America’s Best Workplaces in the Americas (BWA) competition. Designation as a Best Workplace demonstrates the significant commitment that Vistaprint has made to its employees by investing in their work environment, their personal goals and their ambitions. A panel of human relations professionals from the print industry judged entrants against benchmarking c...
April 12, 2018
PPAI is among a coalition of associations and trade groups who sent a letter Wednesday outlining concerns over the potential impact of tariffs imposed on China as a response to unfair trade practices. The letter, which was sent to the chairman and ranking members of the House Ways and Means Committee, opposes the implementation of tariffs as a response to the findings of the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s 301 investigation into China’s trade practices. The coalition, which ha...
April 12, 2018
Distributor Chamberlain Marketing Group, headquartered in Taylor, Michigan, has acquired web design and digital marketing agency Traffic in a $10 million deal. The acquisition allows the distributor to immediately offer expertise in website design and integrated search engine optimization to its clients. “Chamberlain Marketing Group is committed to investing in companies and technologies that make our clients successful,” says Jerry Chamberlain, founder and CEO of Chamberlain Marketing Gro up. “...
April 12, 2018
The U.S. labor market continued to tighten in March. The economy added 103,000 jobs last month, and the Conference Board reports that its Employment Trends Index (ETI) ticked up to 107.72, from 107.31 in February. The March change represents a 5.5 percent increase in the index compared to the same month last year. “The ETI continued its upward trend in March, suggesting that job growth will remain robust in the coming months,” said Gad Levanon, chief economist, North America, at The Conference B...
April 12, 2018
PPAI’s webinar series in the coming weeks explores several areas to help industry professionals improve their business, from effective storytelling to niche markets and better communication. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars include: Enchanting Secrets To Creative StorytellingApril 18, 1 pm CTBest Of The PPAI Expo 2018: Cashing In On Niche Markets: Earn More As ...
April 10, 2018
The 33rd annual Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair expects to welcome nearly 4,360 exhibitors from 34 countries and regions on April 27-30 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exposition Centre, making it the world’s largest event of its kind. Organized by the Hong Kong trade Development Council and The Hong Kong Exporters’ Association, the show features various zones showcasing quality gifts and premiums, and selected winning pieces from the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards. Among the education sessi...
April 10, 2018
United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has published his list of proposed tariffs pursuant to the federal government's Section 301 investigation of China’s trade practices. The notice also includes information about the upcoming committee hearing regarding the proposed tariffs in Washington, D.C., on May 15. This latest round of tariffs is part of a federal government effort to address the concerns of many in the business community regarding a variety of China’s trade policies, suc...
April 10, 2018
New warning requirements that can cost you and your business go into effect on August 30 for California Prop 65. Find out what you need to know to comply in an upcoming webinar presented by PPAI’s Director of Public Affairs Anne Stone. Later this month, Bobby Lehew, chief content officer at commonsku, presents a webinar on how to translate your sales experiences into creative and compelling stories. At the end of the month, hear industry entrepreneur, author and business consultant David Blaise ...
April 10, 2018
Andrew Davis, best-selling author, worldwide influential content marketer and one of the Top 20 Favorite Speakers chosen by Meetings & Conventions magazine, is bringing his insights to the PPAI North American Leadership Conference (NALC) in Washington, D.C., August 12-14. Davis, who opens the conference on Monday morning with his session, Catch, Keep And Capture: The Simple Formula Brilliant Brands Use To Turn Attention Into Retention, is just one of the highly respected experts prepared to ...
April 10, 2018
The 33rd annual Hong Kong Gifts & Premium Fair expects to welcome nearly 4,360 exhibitors from 34 countries and regions on April 27-30 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exposition Centre, making it the world’s largest event of its kind. Organized by the Hong Kong trade Development Council and The Hong Kong Exporters’ Association, the show features various zones showcasing quality gifts and premiums, and selected winning pieces from the Hong Kong Smart Design Awards. Among the education ses...
April 10, 2018
Champion Athleticwear, which participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191138), is bringing its brand to life by opening its first U.S. store. The specialty retail location opened April 7 in Los Angeles, California, in La Brea District, one of the city’s top shopping destinations.   “In today’s retail landscape, it’s vital to create a direct connection with our consumers,” says Susan Henniker, president of Champion Athleticwear. “The need to provide a s...
April 10, 2018
Above: HALO Branded Solutions employees celebrate the company's new headquarters in Sterling, Illinois. Distributor HALO Branded Solutions (PPAI 656996) announces a new chapter in the company’s 66-year history with the move on Monday to new company headquarters at 1500 HALO Way in its hometown of Sterling, Illinois.  The state-of-the-art, 157,500-square-foot facility will house HALO’s 300-person headquarters team with workstations for 200 additional employees. The building includes a 90,000-squa...
April 10, 2018
Distributor sales in 2017 skyrocketed by 9.3 percent to a record $23.3 billion, according to PPAI’s Sales Volume Survey, an annual estimate of U.S. distributor promotional products sales. The industry-wide survey, conducted this spring with 23,564 participating distributor companies, indicates that significant growth among large distributors (sales of more than $2.5 million) drove the strong increase. Among this group, sales were up by 16.3 percent in 2017 over 2016, while smaller companies (sal...
April 05, 2018
First announced Wednesday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, supplier Spector & Co. (PPAI 168328) has partnered with private equity firm Blue Point Capital Partners to recapitalize the company and prime it for future growth. CEO Rob Spector, who retains 25 percent ownership of the company in the deal, and his father, Allen, acquired the company that would become Spector & Co. in 1991, and in the past 27 years have grown it from five employees in an 8,000-square-foot facility to 400 ...
April 05, 2018
The ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China continues, with U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Robert Lighthizer publishing a proposed list of tariffs on Chinese products worth $50 billion in the Federal Register, and China’s Ministry of Commerce saying Wednesday that it would impose tariffs of 25 percent on $50 billion worth of products imported from the U.S. China did not say when its tariffs, which include products ranging from soybeans to aircraft to automobiles, would go into effect....
April 05, 2018
ETS Express (PPAI 135148), which had been sued for alleged trademark infringement by Can’t Live Without It, LLC, dba S'well Bottle, prevailed in court, with a federal court jury in New York ruling unanimously in favor of the promotional product supplier. At the end of the two-week trial in federal court in the Southern District of New York, the jury decided on March 29 that ETS Express was not liable on all counts. Sharon Eyal, CEO of ETS Express, argued in the case that bottles like the h2go F...
April 05, 2018
Fraudulent orders and scams have long been a factor in the promotional products industry. A supplier has reported a new wrinkle on these transactions and has shared its experience with the industry so that peers can be vigilant. Typically, these order scams pertain to USBs and simple electronics, but this company received three large orders for blank and imprinted umbrellas and ponchos from three different, reputable distributors in one week’s time. The orders seemed suspicious as they were to ...
April 05, 2018
Supplier Threadfast Apparel (PPAI 622344), headquartered in New York City, hosted a party for alphabroder’s (PPAI 156960) Philadelphia inside sales team last week at Arch Enemy Arts gallery in Old City, Philadelphia. The event was held to recognize the alphabroder team for their support of the Threadfast brand. “The entire alphabroder team has been a pleasure to work with,” says Abe Anteby, president of Threadfast Apparel. “We’ve worked hard together—tonight was a great opportunity to have some...
April 05, 2018
Revisit The PPAI Expo 2018, learn more about Prop 65 and state regulations and more in PPAI’s lineup of upcoming webinars. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars include: Best Of The PPAI Expo 2018: People Management Tips And Trends April 6, 1 pm CTPSA Required: Prop 65 And State RegulationsApril 11, 1 pm CTEnchanting Secrets To Creative StorytellingApril 18, 1 pm ...
April 05, 2018
Distributor Quality Logo Products (PPAI 304730) in Aurora, Illinois, has been recognized by the Daily Herald Business Ledger in its 28th Annual Award for Business Excellence. The event, held March 29 at the Danada House in Wheaton, gives the awards in recognition of business achievement, growth and community involvement. Quality Logo Products, in the mid-sized company category, was among the 26 companies and business organizations selected. “I would like to thank the Daily Herald Business Ledge...
April 03, 2018
Identification Plates (PPAI 112166) honored six of its 80 employees at the Mesquite, Texas, supplier’s annual Longevity Luncheon. The event celebrates team members that achieve milestone employment marks. Two staff members, Bob Shapiro, CAS, director of business development, and Raymond Flores, director of operations, reached the 20-year mark. Shapiro joined the company as an inside sales rep, while Flores began working at the company while in high school as part of a work study program.Chris Br...
April 03, 2018
Consumers are looking for more of a human touch in their customer experience. PwC’s report, “Experience Is Everything,” found that two thirds of consumers feel their interaction with companies has lost the human element, and three quarters want more human interaction in the future, not less. PwC drew its findings from an international survey of 15,000 consumers in 12 countries. PwC found that while price and quality remain primary drivers in purchasing decisions, 73 percent of the survey’s resp...
April 03, 2018
The board of directors of supplier Gildan Activewear Inc. (PPAI 250187)) has nominated four new directors—Maryse Bertrand, Marc Caira, Charles M. Herington and Craig Leavitt. They will be voted on by the company’s shareholders at its upcoming annual meeting on May 3 in Montreal, Quebec. “The competitive dynamics in the apparel industry continue to evolve, and these proposed director candidates are highly accomplished individuals who will bring a wealth of experience to the board as the company ...
April 03, 2018
In March, eight industry professionals earned their Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) and Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) 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 profession. Profession...
April 03, 2018
HanesBrands and its employees pledged $1.97 million this year to the United Way of Forsyth County and surrounding communities, earning the United Way’s 11th campaign excellence award. The United Way of North Carolina (UWFC) awarded Hanes with its Spirit of North Carolina Award for campaign excellence, the 10th consecutive Spirit Award and 11th earned in the past 12 years by Hanes and its employees. HanesBrands participates in the promotional products industry as supplier Hanes/Champion (PPAI 191...
March 29, 2018
Global advertising spending is expected to grow 4.6 percent in 2018 to $579 billion. Advertising’s projected growth, from Zenith Media’s March 2018 Advertising Expenditure Forecast, is ahead of the 4.1 percent annual growth the firm forecasted in December 2017. It credits the uptick in its projections to unexpected growth in several markets, including China, the Philippines, Argentina and Ireland. Zenith forecasts North American advertising growth of 3.4 percent in 2018, and expects the market ...
March 29, 2018
The Conference Board reports that consumer sentiment slipped in March, following an increase in February. Its Consumer Confidence Index now stands at 127.7, down from 130 the month before. "Consumer confidence declined moderately in March after reaching an 18-year high in February," says Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "Consumers' assessment of current conditions declined slightly, with business conditions the primary reason for the moderation. Consumers' s...
March 29, 2018
HanesBrands has released its 2017 environmental performance report, reporting that the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, supplier has posted strong results across every category compared to the year prior. Since 2016, Hanes reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 15 percent, energy use by six percent and water use by seven percent, while increasing its use of renewable energy by seven percent. Additionally, Hanes diverted 84 percent of its supply chain waste from landfills. HanesBrands participates...
March 29, 2018
Salt Life, LLC, a subsidiary of supplier Delta Apparel (PPAI 188431), is getting into the craft beer business in a new joint venture to develop and market a line of Salt Life-branded beer. The joint venture’s products are expected to be available in the Florida market this fall and expand geographically over time. “We are extremely excited about this further extension of the Salt Life brand,” says Robert W. Humphreys, chairman and chief executive officer of Delta Apparel, Inc. “Consumer recogni...
March 29, 2018
Learn about the value of volunteerism, revisit the PPAI Expo 2018 and more in PPAI’s lineup of upcoming webinars. The Association’s education schedule features a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars include: Stepping Up And Stepping InApril 4, 1 pm CTBest Of The PPAI Expo 2018: People Management Tips And Trends April 6, 1 pm CTPSA Required: Prop 65 And State RegulationsApril 11, 1 pm CTEnchanting Secrets To Cr...
March 26, 2018
President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill into law last week that funds the federal government through its fiscal year. At 2,200 pages, the omnibus spending bill contained at least one detail of interest to the promotional products industry—the renewal of the General System of Preferences (GSP) program, which had expired at the end of 2017. The GSP program allows duty-free access to the U.S. market by products from developing and least-developed countries in order to facilitate globa...
March 26, 2018
Mason, Ohio-based Cintas Corporation (PPAI 303547) has released the results of its fiscal 2018 third quarter, which ended February 28. The distributor’s revenues for third quarter were approximately $1.59 billion, an increase of 26.6 percent over last year’s third quarter. Accounting for the impacts of acquisitions and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, growth was 7.8 percent—with the company’s uniform rental and facility services, and first aid and safety services operating segments r...
March 26, 2018
The U.S. advertising market grew eight percent in February over the same period last year, excluding the Winter Olympics. Standard Media Index (SMI) attributes this growth to strong gains in national television, digital and radio. The promotional products market has also showed an increase in recent months. The latest Market Outlook Report, produced by ITR Economics and PPAI, showed sales of promotional products in fourth quarter 2017 were 5.8 percent higher than the same period in 2016. SMI re...
March 26, 2018
PPAI’s webinars in the coming weeks highlight the value of professional education and volunteerism, 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: For The Love Of LearningMarch 28, 1 pm CTStepping Up And Stepping InApril 4, 1 pm CTBest Of The PPAI Expo 2018: People Management Tips And Trends April 6, 1 pm CTPSA Required: Prop 65 And State RegulationsApri...
March 22, 2018
President Trump signed an executive order today that would levy tariffs on as much as $60 billion in Chinese imports. The tariffs, which will be announced by the U.S. trade representative within 15 days and finalized after a comment period, are expected to target up to 1,300 product categories.Earlier this week, PPAI joined with 44 other associations and trade groups representing a broad coalition of the U.S. business community in a letter to President Trump that opposed tariffs as a remedy to t...
March 22, 2018
The U.S. economy continued to expand in February with The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. climbing 0.6 percent to 108.7. It increased 0.8 percent in January and 0.7 percent in December. "The U.S. LEI rose again despite a sharp downturn in stock markets and weakness in housing construction in February," says Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board. "The LEI points to robust economic growth throughout 2018. Its six-mo...
March 22, 2018
U.S. businesses spend $24 billion on gift cards annually, reports the Incentive Research Foundation ((IRF) in its study, “A Closer Look at Gift Cards: U.S. Spend, Support, Sourcing, and Services for Gift Card Programs in Corporate Organizations.” The study, drawing from the results of a survey of 300 industry professionals who run incentive or recognition programs for their companies, examines how gift cards are sourced for incentive and recognition programs, how much money is budgeted toward th...
March 22, 2018
Proforma (PPAI 196835) brought more than 400 of its owners, supplier partners and support team members together last week at the Fairmont Mayakoba Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, for the distributor group’s annual Million Dollar Club trip. The event invites owners with at least $1 million in annual sales to network with key supplier partners and receive recognition for their accomplishments. At this year’s trip, Proforma celebrated 172 Million Dollar Club members, 39 of which were honored for a...
March 22, 2018
Artificial intelligence (AI) products for the home such as robots and automated assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home continue to draw consumers’ interest. In its latest Global Consumer Insights survey, PwC reports that roughly one third (32 percent) of global consumers are planning home AI purchases . The survey, which assessed the shopping behavior, habits and expectations of more than 22,000 consumers in 27 countries, also found that 10 percent of respondents already own artificial inte...
March 22, 2018
PPAI’s spring webinars revisit The PPAI Expo 2018 and explore the benefits of professional education and volunteerism. The Association’s education offerings highlight a wide range of ideas, updates and other topics important to promotional products industry practitioners. Upcoming webinars include: Best Of Expo 2018: The Changing Landscape Of The Promotional Products IndustryMarch 23, 1 pm CTFor The Love Of LearningMarch 28, 1 pm CTStepping Up And Stepping InApril 4, 1 pm CTBest Of The PPAI Ex...
March 20, 2018
UK distributor BTC Group has announced that it is merging with Lewiston, Maine-based distributor Geiger (PPAI 105182). Going forward, the company will operate as Geiger BTC Group in the UK and across Europe. The merger was first announced Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert. “Our team is excited to be part of the expanding Geiger global network,” said BTC Group Managing Director Frank Murphy in a statement. “We have known each other for years and have worked together on many projects. ...
March 20, 2018
As reported Monday in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert, PPAI has joined 44 other associations and trade groups representing a broad coalition of the U.S. business community in a letter to President Trump that opposes tariffs as a response to the findings of the Office of the United States Trade Representative’s 301 investigation on China’s trade practices. The letter spotlights serious concerns regarding China’s trade policies and practices, including market access barriers and state-direct i...
March 20, 2018
The city council of Boulder, Colorado, is considering regulatory changes that would allow cannabis businesses to distribute promotional products. The city currently prohibits these businesses from giving away promotional products to prevent unintentional marketing to children. Boulder’s Daily Camera newspaper reported that the proposed changes, supported by city staff and the city’s Marijuana Advisory Panel, would allow businesses to distribute promotional items with a secondary purpose, such a...