The Virginia Promo Bill Isn't the First of Its Kind
The Virginia House of Delegates held a hearing yesterday on a bill that would prohibit government agencies from purchasing branded products.
In its summary, House Bill 1913, otherwise known as the Virginia Public Procurement Act proposed by Del. Amanda Batten, says:
prohibited contracts; agency-branded marketing materials. Prohibits state agencies from entering into any contract for the purchase of goods that (i) are branded with such state agency's name, logo, insignia, or other designation and (ii) are being purchased for the purpose of advertising, marketing, or promotion.
PPAI posted opposition to the bill, underscoring the ability of promotional products to "educate, recruit, highlight safety awareness and encourage healthy lifestyle choices."
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources also released a statement in opposition of the bill, claiming that without branded products, it will lose out on revenue necessary to keep up its operations.
These kinds of bills have popped up every now and then within the promotional products industry.
Remember the SWAG Act of 2020.
Other recent legislation affects promotional products in other ways. The Scottish government posted a study about the effect of alcohol branding on the health of young people. In the study, the government weighed the idea of an all-out ban on branded products for alcohol brands, meaning breweries, distilleries and other beverage companies would no longer be able to sell branded products. This, obviously, would have an affect on the businesses, but also the country's tourism dollars, similar to how the Virginia DWR would lose out on revenue as a result of the proposed bill in Virginia.
Unfortunately, government entities are often run like businesses, and businesses often choose promotional and marketing spending as areas where they can limit spending.
Whether or not the Virginia legislation takes hold remains to be seen, but it's a safe bet that more bills like this will continue to pop up every now and then in the future.
Brendan Menapace is the senior digital editor for Promo Marketing. While writing and editing stories come naturally to him, writing his own bio does not.