PPAI's Statement on Claims of SXSW Swag Causing Airport Delays
Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; ppai.org), the not-for-profit association for the $18.5 billion promotional products industry, has issued a statement from president and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, regarding screened luggage at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport during SXSW and his rebuttal of the claim by a Palo Alto tech firm that "most of the (SXSW) freebies end up in the attic, if not the trash." Bellantone's Statement is as follows:
"It turns out the news reports of delays at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport were due to the fact that SXSW event goers were actually taking their promotional products home and not trashing them.
The TSA has since issued this travel tip recommending that airline passengers leaving SXSW with lots of freebies should take them in their carry-on luggage so they can get through security faster.
Regarding the Palo Alto tech firm's claim that 'most of the SXSW freebies end up in the attic or trash,' PPAI and the promotional products industry wholly support the donation of unused promotional products to help those in need, and are glad the Austin-based Foundation for the Homeless is the beneficiary of the generosity and compassion of South by Southwest (#SXSW) attendees and its marketers.
Working with promotional products professionals, savvy marketers design and produce strategically branded promotional campaigns to reach and appeal to a highly targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner. Promotional products are used to educate, support worthy causes, recognize and reward employee achievements, support legislation and inspire action. In cases where promotional products are not needed, consumers report a pass-along rate of 36 percent—a lucrative benefit for marketers.
PPAI's more than 40 years of industry research supports the fact that promotional products are one of, if not the most valued of all advertising media. In fact, eight in 10 consumers own promotional products, keeping them for more than a year in their kitchen (91 percent), workspace (74 percent), bedroom (55 percent) and in pockets or purses (24 percent) because they are useful. For marketers, the efficacy of promotional products provides the best ROI in the business, delivering an 88 percent brand recall and driving 85 percent of recipients to do business with the brand after receiving a branded product.
Whether through research or anecdotal evidence, it is clear promotional products have value to everyone, otherwise, they would not be distributed to both their intended audiences and to unintended, but equally valued, audiences—audiences who will find their original purpose to be just as useful and for which they are equally appreciative.
This appreciation of the function, form and fit of promotional products is why we, as an industry, strive to ensure unused products make their way into the hands of those who can use them most-teacher resource centers, animal shelters, community outreach organizations and, yes, homeless shelters.
The promotional products industry donates, contributes and volunteers in support of the communities it serves every day with literally thousands of products, millions of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours supporting worthy causes, schools and organizations, such as the Kids In Need Foundation, Merced Rescue Mission, Community Health Charities Minnesota, Richmond State School for Success and many more."
For more information, visit www.ppai.org.