It Just Works – Promotional Products Work Week



You may think “Swag” or “Stuff” or “Tchotchke” instead of “Promotional Products,” but all those terms reflect the same advertising industry which we are so proudly a member.

We often think of ourselves as the “silent” advertising profession. Everyone hears about radio, tv, print and newspaper advertising, but it’s not often that “Promotional Product Advertising” gets mentioned as part of the advertising industry. Even in marketing and advertising classrooms, it remains an almost forgotten branch of the advertising world.

However, our industry is a $20+ billion one with more than 33,000 businesses – 97 percent of which are small businesses – and includes almost 500,000 professionals. In dollars spent, it’s a very vibrant and growing industry, outpacing radio and magazine advertising.

The week of May 18, 2015, has been designated “Promotional Products Work Week” by our industry non-profit organization, Promotional Product Association International (PPAI).

As members of PPAI, we all work to create awareness for the value promotional products
deliver to advertisers and marketers; as well as the positive impact promotional products businesses have on the
U.S. economy, job creation and community enrichment.

Consumers love promotional products! PPAI research clearly demonstrates the power of the advertising medium as
the most cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner.

The info graphic below outlines some relevant statistics about the power of promotional products as an advertising medium. With 88% of recipients able to recall the advertiser, the influence of promotional products is convincing.

The Creative J is happy to be part of such a great industry as well as a member of PPAI. We are lucky to be in an industry that has such a strong trade organization and advocate for our business success. We also thank all our customers who have been such an important part of our success.

Power Banks – Recalls and Cease & Desist Letters

When connecting your high-dollar phone to any sort of power device, you want to be certain the energy source is not going to damage your phone.

We’revery proactive with our suppliers to make sure we only sell certified and tested products. Below is a statement from our main supplier, KTI, about their standards:

“As most of you are aware, power banks and cables have been the center of quite a few Unknownissues – the Apple Cease and Desist letter that many suppliers have received and the Powerbank recall being two of the main headliners.

I have been asked by a few “Are KTI products involved with the recent recall and/or did KTI get a Cease and Desist letter from Apple?”  In short, no.  We certify all of our power banks to prevent this sort of issue coming up with anything purchased from us.  And we foresaw issues like this with Apple, so we have never offered any lightning cables or adapters that are not Apple MFI certified.(regardless of pressure to offer and sell at a low price).
You can count on us to continue this trend.  We watch out for your reputation.
I want you ensure you all KTI power banks have certifications and are not a part of the recall and KTI does not resell any cables without Apple MFI license.”
Be sure to ask if items are tested and certified when inquiring about any electronic devices. The last thing you want when handing out these items to your employees, customers, friends or family, is to have them come back to tell you the device shorted out their expensive electronics!

2013 Best Boss Award – PPB Magazine

I was surprised to open my email about a month ago and find that I had been selected as one of 2013 Best Boss Awards by Promotional Products Business magazine.

We truly have a special group of people here at The Creative J. Without the dedication and caring they all give to me and each other, what we do and how well we do it certainly would not be possible. I am forever grateful to all of them for their continued support and all the FUN we have working together each day. Thank you – Val, Rachel, Risa, Lindsey & Jeff – for everything you have done and are for me!

To read more about this and the common themes they found with the 2013 award recipients, click here:  2013 PPB Best Boss Awards – Top Secrets of Savvy Supervisors.


Price Drops on Sanmar District Line

Sanmar, a leading clothing wholesaler to our industry, has just announced price drops on it’s District® and District Made® lines, at an average of 15%. The District® line features apparel with a trimmer cut and shorter sleeves, while the District Made® line features a more relaxed fit with longer sleeves.

At The Creative J we’re really excited to see this price drop as it will allow us to offer our customers some newer more fashion forward styles at an even better price point.

Microburn Junior’s Raglan Tee

In addition, Sanmar has introduced a dozen new fabrics including Microburn™, an aged-looking fabric that has a weathered look and feel. Available in a variety of colors and styles, it’s soft feel can’t be beat.

Microburn Men’s Crew Tee
Men’s Dip Dye Crew Tee
Another addition, the Dip Dye, offers shirts with graduated color variations which are so popular today.  In both men’s and ladies versions, this is a great option for company tshirts with a little pizzazz.
Ladies Dip Dye
Rounded Deep V-Neck Tee

View more of the latest styles from Sanmar, click here to go to view the District® & District Made® lines.

For pricing on these or other decorated apparel, contact one of our knowledgeable specialists here at The Creative J.

Cotton Prices on the Rise…Again

An article released today by details the rise of cotton prices over the past two months. Apparel manufacturers were waiting to see if prices would fall or stabilize, but instead, have seen an upward tick in pricing, causing them to consider 10-15% increases to apparel.

In the promotional products business, we see the effects of such price increases mainly in the week-to-week costs of tshirts. Tshirts are considered a commodity item, and pricing can fluctuate wildly when cotton pricing is unstable. This can cause it to be extremely difficult to hold pricing on quotes for longer than a week or two.

At The Creative J, we have many sources for our blank apparel, which help us to keep your costs down. When quoting apparel pricing, we search through a multitude of vendors to find the best current pricing so we can pass the savings on to our customers. You can be assured that the price we quote has been thoroughly researched by the time it reaches your eyes.

Click here to read more about the current cotton situation.


CPSIA and Child Safe Products

For the past year, manufacturers and importers of consumer products have been required to show proof of compliance with third-party testing for lead in children’s products. These new regulations are commonly referred to as CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) This impacts the promotional product industry since many promo products are intended for or handled by children. It’s important to be aware of these regulations as they pertain to the marketing items you chose for your promos.
 stuffed lamb toy

What is Defined as a Child”s Product?

Basically anything designed or intended for use by children under 12 fall under these regulations. However, this definition can get a bit sticky. Some items although not necessarily intended for children, may fall under this regulation due to the imprint placed on the item. For example, if you decorate a water bottle with a fun cartoon, then it can be determined to fall under this regulation. That same water bottle with a company logo on it can be exempt.
What About Items Not Intended for Children?
Items not intended for children, but handled by them, are exempt from the testing requirements. It is only if the items primary target audience is children under 12 that the requirements come into play.
What Products are Deemed Safe?
Products which have passed the testing guidelines for CPSIA will have proper labeling  and test results. Most manufacturers are now including these reports on their websites. Products which are deemed child safe will also have a tracking label directly on the product. Again, the gray area of this issue is on products which before decorated are not considered to be children’s products, but after decoration are. These items may not have gone though the testing process.
For a more in-depth explanation of this issue, read this article provided by the Promotional Products Association:  click here.
To view how some of our favorite suppliers comply with these regulations, check out their compliance pages:

A good rule of thumb for any promos you purchase for your marketing efforts:  Take a couple minutes to review the audience which will be receiving your items to determine if children are part of that audience. Then take a few moments to review the items to see if any of them appear to be intended for children, or appeal to children. The last thing you want in your marketing campaign is to hand out an item which could be potentially dangerous to a child.