Promo Marketing

You will be automatically redirected to promomarketing in 20 seconds.
Skip this advertisement.

Executive director - Quality Certification Alliance (QCA)

Compliance Chat

By Jeff Jacobs

About Jeff

Jeff Jacobs is the executive director of Quality Certification Alliance (QCA). Jeff was the director of brand merchandise at Michelin N.A., serving on its worldwide quality committee for promotional and licensed products. Prior to that, he worked with brands in publishing, home video and broadcasting.


Be Dazzled

Elise Hacking Carr
3 Ideas for Mother's Day Promotions
Apr 23, 2014

Mother’s Day is just around the corner. Here are three ways to make it a memorable occasion for moms everywhere....

Not So Technically Speaking

Dale Denham
Too Many Priorities
Apr 22, 2014

Earth Day. Promotional Products Work Week. Technology Summit. So many topics, which one should I blog about today?...

Jeff's Rant

Jeff Solomon, MAS
A "Condemned" Supplier Shares the Truth!
Apr 17, 2014

There clearly are companies who operate in ways that are contrary to the traditional supplier/distributor model we are comfortable with....

Selling Smarter

Rosalie Marcus
Speak Now and Sell More!
Apr 15, 2014

How would you like a powerful marketing strategy that can position you as a leader in your field, put you...

Promotional Fashionista

Colleen McKenna
3 Ways to Style an Imprinted Tee
Apr 15, 2014

Imprinted T-shirts are in with the fashion elite. Here's how they are styling the tees....

Beyond Words

Rebecca Kollmann, MAS+
Adapting Your Style
Apr 14, 2014

Many of us have taken a behavioral style inventory at some point in our careers. While the intent of these...

Guest Blogs

Guest Contributor
The Anatomy of Emotional Marketing
Apr 11, 2014

You've probably heard the old adage: "It's the thought that counts." This could not be any truer, especially in business. When...

Kiwi's Coaching Corner

Paul  Kiewiet
Without People, Brands Have No Meaning
Apr 10, 2014

Brands are built over time but can be destroyed in an instant. This is why is it critically important to...

The Hot Button

Mary Ellen Sokalski, MAS
Even Retirees Are Doing It
Apr 9, 2014

Even older clients who grew up with the "one-size-fits-all" adult T-shirt as their world are choosing to buy FASHION TEES....

Million Dollar Mindset with Greg Muzzillo

Greg Muzzillo
"Free Crab Tomorrow"
Apr 7, 2014

Joe's Crab Shack offers free crab tomorrow. That's because it's never tomorrow. All we have is today. I've talked to...

Quick Thoughts by Cliff Quicksell, MAS

Cliff Quicksell, MAS
6 Reasons Why Marketing Fails and How to Prevent It
Mar 31, 2014

When it comes to marketing, there are no guarantees. A great marketing idea that is poorly implemented or incorrectly presented...

Be Bold, Be Different, Be Memorable

Rick Greene, MAS
5 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Land New Business
Feb 26, 2014

LinkedIn is a happening place. It is the unsung hero of social platforms and it can indeed be used to...

Mike's Blog

Michael Cornnell
Ads on NBA Jerseys: An Inevitability?
Feb 24, 2014

The NBA may be stating that they're no closer to on-uniform ads than they were in 2011, but that doesn't...


Kyle Richardson
New Year, New Site, New Magazine
Jan 31, 2014

This week, we announced the redesign of our home page and magazine. Let us know what you think about the...

Big Picture Promo

Matt Kaspari, CAS
Meeting Clients Where They Are
Oct 24, 2013

Promotional marketing is at its best when it empowers a client’s brand, meets his or her objectives and fits within...

My Two Cents

Rick Brenner
For Promotional Product Sales, Protect Your Client's Brand
Jun 3, 2013

Whether you are selling to a global brand like Nike or to your local YMCA, no single asset is more...

Friday Sales-thought of the Week!

Dale Limes, MAS
Reverse Engineer Your Sales Success
Mar 18, 2013

Steven Covey reminds us that when setting goals ... "Start with the end in mind." That is to visualize the...

Editor's Notes

Nichole Stella
The Perfect Match
Mar 5, 2013

The Super Bowl has also become the Ad Bowl, where brands duke it out to see who has the funniest,...

The Sales Challenge

Bill Farquharson
Think and Succeed
May 29, 2012

What would happen if you woke up in the morning and your first thought was, "I am never going to...

Creating More Purposeful Sales Conversations

Lisa Leitch, CSP, MAS
Under 100 Days to Achieve 2011 Goals
Oct 20, 2011

It's hard to believe, but there are fewer than 100 days left to achieve 2011 goals! Are you on track...

The Product Safety Journey


Like success and life, product safety and compliance programs are about the journey rather than the destination. Compliance programs are not a black-or-white, pass-or-fail, all-or-nothing exercise. I've heard plenty of skepticism from people on the veracity of other companies' efforts when perhaps an inward focus on what is actually within their control is warranted. Who knows, maybe those comments are a defense mechanism that allows them to deflect attention away from their own potential shortcomings.

I regularly hear questions or concerns about those companies who are on the product safety journey. Perhaps these comments are misplaced. Rather, we should be not only giving credit to companies that admit they need to get better in an area so critically important to Fortune 1000 companies, but also applauding the fact that these companies are actually doing something about it. Product safety and compliance efforts are not easy, nor are they inexpensive. They carry with them the associated costs and pain that so often accompanies meaningful change. These companies are making our industry better, and we should be encouraging their efforts to improve themselves and build the overall reputation of our industry.

A robust compliance program is a pretty good window into the overall quality of an organization. These programs are a reflection of a company's ongoing commitment to you, its customer. They also provide key insights into the overall quality and character of the company you are choosing to do business with. Does the company value the relationship it has with you? Does it value the relationship you have with your customers? Is it focused on growing your business? Or does the company just want to sell you more stuff? Seriously! Is it really an unfair expectation that the products you sell do no harm? That the products do not jeopardize the health or safety of recipients? We're supposed to be enhancing our clients' brands, not putting their brand reputation at risk.

If a company values the relationship, it will be passionate about making you look better to your customers. It will be committed to being better than the average in the things it does. It will be embracing change as a path to long-term success rather than fighting to maintain the same old tired offering. It will have a comprehensive product safety and compliance program, and it will be able to both quickly demonstrate the program exists to you and explain why it is important to your customers. The company will have product liability insurance and a process in place that prevents the insurance from ever having to be used.

Having a rigorous product safety and compliance program is not unlike an insurance policy. It's hard to argue that car insurance is not important. Many states require it as a condition of getting a driver's license in an effort to protect us from ourselves. But having car or health insurance does not mean that something bad is guaranteed from happening. It just means that if something does happen, it doesn't destroy everything that we have worked so hard to build. It means that you are more responsible and have some protection from the knucklehead texting on the freeway next to you. I choose to align myself with those companies who are committed to exceeding their customer's expectations on compliance matters and am excited about the rapidly growing ground swell of distributors who are now voting in support of compliance programs via their purchase orders.

To me, the critical issue is that these companies have cultures that value product safety and are taking steps to improve themselves.  The question shouldn't be whether they are perfect or not.  The question should be why aren't you, as demonstrated by your actions equally committed to meeting the demand for safe and compliant products?

Brent Stone is executive director - operations for Quality Certification Alliance (QCA), the promotional products industry's only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products. A Six Sigma Black Belt, Stone has more than 25 years of in-depth supply chain management experience with extensive expertise in process design, development, improvement and management. He can be reached at or visit for more information.

Market Centers:


Click here to leave a comment...
Comment *
Most Recent Comments: