PPAI Petitions President To Reconsider Promotional Products Spending Limit
On Nov. 9, President Obama issued an Executive Order instructing all Federal agencies and departments to limit the purchase of promotional items (e.g., plaques, clothing, and commemorative items), in particular where they are not cost-effective. The limits on promotional spending are included in a larger effort to reduce spending on federal employee travel, vehicles, printing and technology by 20 percent.
Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) president and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, petitioned the President and said, "While it might be tempting to limit the purchase of promotional products in order to yield some short-term savings, in the long term, this prohibition may unintentionally diminish the good work of Federal agencies. Time and again, promotional products have proven themselves to be the most cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner."
In addition, the PPAI Advocacy team reached out to the White House and small-business advocates within the government. "While PPAI was not able to stop this order, we believe we were able to mitigate the overall impact further demonstrating why the industry needs grassroots participation to be effective," says Bellantone. "We need to make sure we have members of Congress watching out for us."
PPAI's goal is to ensure that promotional products are viewed in a positive light. The Association will work diligently to achieve that goal.
Executive Order Details
While some media reports refer to a "ban" on promotional products, the Executive Order is more limited in scope.
The Executive Order calls for each executive agency to establish a plan for reducing the combined costs associated with travel, employee information technology devices, printing, executive fleet efficiencies and extraneous promotional items by not less than 20 percent below Fiscal Year 2010 levels in Fiscal year 2013 which starts in October 2012. This is what it says about how to accomplish that with respect to promotional products:
"Extraneous Promotional Items. Agencies should limit the purchase of promotional items (e.g., plaques, clothing, and commemorative items), in particular where they are not cost-effective."
Only executive branch agencies must comply with this Executive Order. For the most part, this refers to the "Departments" such as Treasury, Defense and Agriculture and the entities that are part of them. The Executive Order "requests" independent agencies to comply.
Since 1903, Promotional Products Association International, a not-for-profit, has been the standard-setting international trade association for the promotional products industry. PPAI offers education, tradeshows, business products and services, mentoring, technology and legislative support to its members. Today, PPAI serves more than 9,000 global members who lead the $16.5-billion dollar industry. The multi-billion-dollar industry includes wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company's name, logo or message. PPAI created and maintains the UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code), the industry's only free identification system and universal company database. For information regarding PPAI or to learn more about the proven power of promotional products (including research and case studies), visit the PPAI website at www.ppai.org.