Impact Promotional Publishing Closes, Founder Klein Makes Major Statement
Peter L. Klein, founder and chief executive officer of Impact Promotional Publishing LLC, based in Dunedin, Fla., announced on May 1, “... On the 30th anniversary of its founding, [Impact Promotional Publishing] will discontinue publication of the Impact Advertising Catalog and all other promotional industry sales and marketing products.” Klein continued, “Throughout May and June, key employees will remain available at Impact’s headquarters in Dunedin to resolve open credit and payment issues. We expect to resolve all issues by June 15, 2009.”
“In part, my decision to end our promotional business was hastened by the recent economic downturn,” added Klein. “I had planned a more gradual transition; but this decision has been many years in the making. Nearly a decade ago, I stopped my active involvement with Impact’s products and their sale to the industry and sought to find suitable succession management and ownership of the company. Ultimately, the deciding factor in my decision was the realization that this was not to be.”
Klein went on to thank the company's distributors: “I wish to thank Impact’s many loyal distributor and supplier customers, some of whom regrettably will be disappointed by this decision. During the past few months, as we have ended various products and programs, we have heard from many customers, who would prefer us to remain in business.” Adding further, “Every day, we continue to receive orders and inquiries. But, it is time for change; my heart and mind are not in the business. I much prefer living on my farm in Vermont and devoting my energies to organic, sustainable agriculture.”
“Having started or stimulated many significant developments and trends, I am proud of Impact’s long history of innovation and leadership in the promotional industry. Although Impact did not always profit or receive credit for its innovations, as gadfly and midwife to the industry’s syndicated catalog and digital-research capabilities, I believe, we made a significant and profound impact. If you look around our Industry, you will find many former Impact employees, having started with Impact, now occupying important leadership positions with competitors and others. This is a strong indicator of our leadership role.”
Taking a philosophical and long-view perspective, Mr. Klein said, “It has been 37 years since I first became associated with the promotional industry and my significant regret, looking back on that time, was my inability to facilitate and accomplish an important goal: the ownership of the industry’s name/address profiles and product descriptions by the nonprofit, national trade association, PPAI.”
“Having waged a long and endless personal campaign, in courts and in competition, with the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI) I believe that the industry would be better served with our common assets in neutral hands, so that small, innovative entrepreneurs could bring sales and marketing products to suppliers and distributors. Each company’s identity and products are our common resource."
Klein concluded, “Let PPAI profit from the upkeep of this information; and let all companies, large and small, have access to it. This will foster improvement and innovation. There is no need for one industry to have multiple identification systems, nor is there good reason to allow one, for-profit company rights to control access to that information. This is what I believe; others might disagree.”