Obama Calls Promotional Products “Wasteful Spending”

I received this urgent call to action email from  Timothy M. Andrews, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Advertising Specialty Institute. Please take the time to read what he is reporting and take the actions he suggests. This mandate will have a ripple effect to everyone out there who sells personalized items or clothing of any kind. Look at Mr. Andrews facts and contact your representative or senator today. I certainly plan to do my part. Together we can make a difference. Thanks for bringing this to my attention Mr. Andrews. Here is the email:

As you may have already seen, President Obama today announced a mandate to cut 20% from federal agency spending on “plaques, clothing, and other unnecessary promotional items.” The cuts are
designed to trim the government’s “wasteful spending.”

We are undertaking an aggressive PR campaign to immediately educate the media and others to help the general public, as well as political leaders, understand the importance of
our industry: job creation, promotional products’ incredible ROI and why our industry’s output and value shouldn’t be called “wasteful spending.”

We’re calling on everyone to reach out to their senators and congressmen – they need to hear from each of us, collectively and individually.
I am sending a letter directly to President Obama. Below are talking points you might consider in a letter to the editor of your local paper and to your senator
or your representative. 

  • The promo products industry helps create jobs.
    • The industry employs
      nearly 500,000 people throughout North America and includes thousands
      of small and women- and minority-owned businesses.
  • Promotional products, which cost just half a penny per impression, beat out
    prime-time TV, radio and print advertising as the most cost-effective advertising medium available,
    • meaning even smaller companies can pack the advertising punch of multimillion-dollar companies. ASI studies show 83% of ad specialty recipients
      in the U.S. say they can identify the advertiser on a promotional item they own.
  • As more companies shift to lower-cost advertising like promo products, it’s
    helping the industry bounce back.
  • Promo products save taxpayers money.
    • The U.S. government used promotional items as reminders to mail back
      the U.S. census
      – instead of sending government representatives
      door-to-door – a move that may have saved taxpayers up to $85 million. The
      ensuing response rate surpassed that of the 2000 census.
  • Obama himself knows promo products work
  • – he relied heavily on them to get elected in 2008, and his reelection website today offers everything from logoed T-shirts
    to leather bracelets, bumper stickers, buttons and beyond.

You can find your senators here. Click here to find and write your U.S.

We’ll provide additional information and guidance in coming days as we continue to learn more and evaluate ways to effectively


Timothy M. Andrews
President and Chief Executive Officer
Advertising Specialty Institute

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