Sunday, March 28, 2010

Top 10 Eco-Friendly Giveaways for Earth Day: April 22

TREVOSE, PA – March 24, 2010 – The Advertising Specialty Institute today released its first-ever list of top 10 eco-friendly giveaways for Earth Day 2010.

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 around the world, and more companies than ever before are using eco-friendly giveaways to promote their commitment to caring for the environment.

Editors of Counselor magazine searched for creative giveaways in the Advertising Specialty Institute’s exclusive promotional products database and found that marketers are snatching up everything from notebooks made of elephant poo to shower timers to paper embedded with wildflower seeds.

Products made from renewable resources continue to gain momentum, including dinnerware made from bamboo. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on the planet, growing up to four feet in one day, and it is 100% biodegradable.

The top 10 eco-friendly giveaways for Earth Day 2010 are:

1. Elephant-Poo Notebook – The ultimate recycled item, great for colleges and trade shows.
2. Bamboo Dinnerware – Perfect for office picnics, outdoor concert venues and fairs.
3. Seed Paper Postcard – Ideal for environment-themed mailings and print promotions.
4. Shower Timer – Municipalities and utilities can promote water conservation.
5. Recycled Tires Jar Opener – Auto dealerships and mechanics can give these to customers.
6. Pine Tree Seedling – Employees can participate in a tree-planting day at the office campus.
7. Organic T-shirt – Give one to each Earth Day event organizer and volunteer.
8. Compostable Pens – Hotels, banks and shops can use these biodegradable pens.
9. Nonwoven Bag – Local grocery stores can eliminate plastic and paper.
10. Hemp-Blend Polo – Companies can use this earth-friendly shirt for summer uniforms.

To see photos of the products and purchasing information for each, and to watch a video with the editor of Counselor magazine featuring the items, visit

“Companies are hungering for eco-friendly products to help tout their earth-friendliness to customers and employees,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and CEO of the Advertising Specialty Institute. “In fact, these items are so popular that we now have an exclusive pavilion at our five superregional trade shows dedicated to showcasing new eco-friendly products.”

Promotional products, or advertising specialties, are items imprinted with logos or slogans to market a company, organization, product, service, achievement or event. They are frequently purchased as gifts to employees and clients for occasions year-round, and marketers often include them in their campaigns to dramatically increase response rates.

According to an exclusive study from the Advertising Specialty Institute, end-buyers identify promotional products as the most effective medium among all advertising, next to the Internet. In addition, the study reveals that nearly one-half, or 48%, of respondents feel that promotional products are expected to deliver a positive return on investment.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Great Promotional Item

Check out this video. It showcases a product that not only has a fun and cool factor, but also gives you long term promotional exposure. It's a great combination! Check it out and contact us if you want more information!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fun Promotional Item

Check out this short video about a fun promotional item for your next trade show!

Survey: Ad Spending Expected To Rebound in 2010

Stifled by the economy, ad spending in the U.S. dropped 12.3% last year, according to a report from research firm Kantar Media. The fall was triple the rate of decline compared to 2008, but analysts believe the fourth quarter of 2009 showed signs of recovery. “The advertising recession began to ease in the final two months of 2009 and preliminary figures from the first quarter of 2010, when compared against the abyss of a year ago, indicate many sectors are experiencing growth,” said Jon Swallen, senior vice president of research at Kantar. “As we get deeper into 2010, the pace of consumer activity will be a key determinant of the strength and durability of the advertising recovery.”

While analysts expect ad spending to increase by the second quarter of this year, 2009 will be remembered as a dark time for many marketers and mainstream media. Local magazines, for example, suffered through a 28% ad revenue decline in 2009 and ad sales at newspapers fell 20%. Revenue from spot sales of national radio commercials dropped nearly 25% and spot TV commercials generated 24% less revenue, according to Kantar research. However, continuing recent trends, Internet-based ad revenue actually increased 7.3% in 2009.

Among leading advertisers, Proctor & Gamble slashed ad spending by 7.3% in 2009, while General Motors increased spending by 1.3%. Additionally, Verizon cut ad spending by 7%, while Sprint Nextel expanded spending by 30%. Leading a spending charge by pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer increased ad spending by 33% last year

Monday, March 15, 2010

Small Business Hiring Increases

If you are like most small business owners, you are looking for any signs of optimism! Here is another step in the right direction.

For the second consecutive month, small business hiring and salary levels rose nationally, according to data from the Small Business Scorecard survey, released by research firm SurePayroll. Additionally, small business optimism improved dramatically in February, with 61% of respondents having a positive outlook on the economy.

"Truth is, while the numbers are telling us we've bounced off the bottom and are now heading in the right direction, only the actions of the small business owners will demonstrate when we're completely out of the water," said Michael Alter, president of SurePayroll.

Nationwide, small business hiring increased 2%, while by region, the West saw the most improvement at 2.2%. Hiring spiked significantly in California and Illinois, while falling in Colorado and Pennsylvania. Salaries rose very slightly, up 0.2%, but broke a consistent downward trend, possibly triggering salary stabilization amid renewed confidence from business owners.

"When they're feeling positive, we'll see their safe-bet decisions, such as hiring contract workers rather than adding full-time employees, turn into more aggressive actions, such as adding headcount and making capital expenditures," Alter says. "We'll see paychecks holding steady, without erratic dips or slight increases. We'll also see our optimism levels return to 2007's highs of nearly 80%."

Friday, March 5, 2010

Social Networking Usage Doubles

A new University of Maryland survey shows social media usage among small businesses increased to 24% in 2009, up from 12% in 2008. Further, three out of four respondents reported use of a company social networking Web page, tied to a site like Facebook or LinkedIn. An additional 40% of respondents say they have created a blog, where they post entries related to their areas of expertise. About 26% of those surveyed send Tweets about their business field, while 16% use Twitter as a customer service tool. "Social media levels the playing field for small businesses by helping them deliver customer service," said Janet Wagner, director of the Center for Excellence in Service. "Time spent on Twitter, Facebook and blogs is an investment in making it easier for small businesses to compete."

Besides demonstrating usage, the survey also compared expectations to results, showing social networking wasn't quite as effective in attracting new customers as had been hoped. Roughly 73% of respondents expected social networking to help customer acquisition, while only 61% of surveyed businesses could identify an uptick. However, 46% of respondents believe social media helped their businesses stay engaged with customers, falling in line with expectations.

Maybe most notably of all, 22% of those surveyed feel social networking is already helping them turn a profit, with 46% believing the marketing tool will help them make money within the next year. This new optimism among business executives is an attitude reversal from prior studies, including one conducted by Citibank last August. In that study, 75% of respondents did not find social networking to be helpful for generating leads or expanding their businesses.