MAN OR MYTH, fact or fiction, Ned Ludd is oft-cited as the inspiration for the Luddite movement of early 19th century England. A supposed simpleton, Ludd was fabled to have destroyed two automated looms, epitomizing and inspiring the coming Luddite revolt against the machinery of the industrial revolution. The Luddites believed technological advances hurt their livelihood—as automated machines required fewer artisans—and rallied to slow their progress, smashing equipment in the name of the working man. Centuries later, the Luddite movement survives, often referred to as neo-Luddites, who rally against computers, cell phones and other gadgets that can be considered the automated loom of the
THE PROMOTIONAL PRODUCTS industry is an evolving one. Case in point: a little over five years ago when this writer first came aboard the Promo Marketing (formerly Promotional Marketing) ship, there was little, if any, talk of the environment and what the industry could do to preserve it. However, within the past two years alone, it seems the entire industry has gone “green,” with both suppliers and distributors heralding their environmentally responsible business practices and industry publications dedicating entire issues to the topic. Even with the widespread attention environmental safety has received, there are other notable topics brewing in the industry these days.