Bikers, Babies and the Fight Against CPSIA
We all know that the CPSIA affects our industry in game-changing ways. What is not often discussed here is how much if affects the rest of the country.
In my daily browsing for news, I came across this article from RoadracingWorld.com discussing how CPSIA affects the recreational vehicle industry and the response from the American Motorcycle Assocation (AMA).
The much-maligned law means products with more than a certain amount of lead per million (currently 300 parts per million, although that may change to 100 ppm come August) cannot be sold to children under 12. Because the law is so broad and vague, and the term "children's products" so intangible, it has the potential to meddle with a variety of markets. Children's motorcycles, dirtbikes and ATVs include component engine metals (which most children will never touch) that contain trace amounts of lead, making them subject to the regulation. As it stands, sale of these vehicles for children will be banned on December 31, 2011.
The AMA isn't taking this news lying down. They've created a program, Kids Just Want to Ride, to create awareness of the issue and to try and solicit change in the CPSIA. The program asks parents to create videos explaining how much their children love the vehicles, and how the CPSIA will destroy their hobby if the law isn't changed.
Convincing senators to amend a bill by showing heartbroken children may be manipulative and cloying, but it may also work. Ultimately, if it takes guilt to change the law it may be worth it, as there is more at stake than some pre-teen dirtbikers. What's at stake are the jobs of manufacturers, the jobs of retailers, the jobs of accessory makers, the jobs of mechanics, the jobs of detailers and customizers, and the jobs of those very government employees who regulate recreational vehicle safety. What's at stake is an entire subsection of an industry, an ecosystem that would vanish if the law isn't changed.
The AMA's video gambit is genius, and I think the promotional products industry should take a page and from their playbook. I challenge those of you with the know-how to create videos explaining how CPSIA will negatively impact your business and your life.
If you're up to the task, create a video for YouTube and post it in a link in the comments below or e-mail it directly to me at the address above (under the atrocious headshot). Who knows: maybe your video could be the one to sway a senator and make a difference.
Kyle A. Richardson is the editorial director of Promo Marketing. He joined the company in 2006 brings more than a decade of publishing, marketing and media experience to the magazine. If you see him, buy him a drink.