Brand Safety Clinic

New Participation Model Expands Engagement And Involvement

Since QCA was founded in 2008, much has changed. There are more regulations, greater consumer awareness and increased pressure from brands to provide products that are safe and responsibly sourced.

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Future Buyers Will Be Change Agents For Tomorrow’s Businesses

Takeaways From ISM Direct Conference And How Corporate Social Responsibility Is A Driving Force Behind Changing Buyer Attitudes

Marketing, fleet, human resources and other indirect expenses—including promotional products—often don’t receive the same scrutiny as direct ones, even though these costs may comprise 50% of a company’s overall purchases.

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Getting In Touch With Higher Education Buyers

What You Must Know To Effectively Sell To This Market

Universities and colleges use branded merchandise across so many avenues—from gift and spirit stores to student recruiting, alumni groups, on-campus events, athletic events, advocacy efforts and more. As prolific as promotional products are around campuses, many of these higher-education marketers are not at all familiar with our industry’s supply chain.

To make it even more confusing, the collegiate structure makes it difficult to determine who owns the process since it encompasses everything from spirit shops, bookstores, alumni events, sports clubs, sports teams, advocacy events, departmental promotions, etc. However, one thing is certain; there are definitely many opportunities for educating these education marketers in terms of brand safety and responsible sourcing of their logoed goods.

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Guest: The Promise and Risk of IoT Products for the Promotional Industry

The consumer product world is experiencing a broad emergence of Internet-connected tech products with embedded sensors and microchips that allow them to perform tasks never before imagined. They are part of the Internet of Things (IoT) and they will eventually redefine what we consider normal. And like many tech items that evolve from pricey retail versions to low-cost promotional versions, the day when IoT products arrive in the promotional industry is likely to come soon. Imagine a T-shirt that monitors your heart rate and then automatically adjusts the program of your treadmill, a pill box that emails you if your elderly mother forgets to take her medicine or GPS–enabled stickers that can track anything with a Find-my-iPhonetype app. These products and hundreds more are all possible in what our industry could call the Internet of PromotionalThings (IoPT). In time, there are bound be IoPT features added to a wide range of industry categories – from pens to drinkware to bags to apparel – as developers find meaningful ways to reimagine the customer experience and broaden marketing opportunities.

But the benefits of IoT and IoPT may come at a price. These connected consumer products are raising serious concerns for regulators around the globe as issues of cybersecurity and privacy abound.3 Consumers have already been subjected to hacking incidents with IoT control devices in automobiles, heart regulators, baby monitors, cameras, oil pipelines and credit card scanners, to name a few. Promotional professionals should take the time to educate themselves about IoT now, before the products become plentiful in the industry, so that when they begin to appear you will be better able to make informed decisions and protect your clients’ brands.

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Category Managers Get Brand Safety

As the holiday season began, QCA was still out on the road sharing the message of BRAND SAFETY through the responsible sourcing of promotional products. While everyone was still eating Thanksgiving leftovers, the Institute for Supply Management Indirect Conference kicked off in Las Vegas. Moreover, once again, we were joined by a representative from the QCA Distributor Advocacy Council.

The lineup of quality speakers represented several supply chain categories from large and mid-sized organizations. Some of the more well-known included presenters hailed from Baxter International, FedEx, Intel, Microsoft, the Sustainable Purchasing Leadership Council, and Zappos.

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BRAND SAFETY Resonates with Marketing Professionals at AMA Higher Education Symposium

For an audience that already understands social responsibility and environmental stewardship, introducing three more essential BRAND SAFETY categories to round out the five pillars of compliance seemed to be a natural fit. The American Marketing Association (AMA) recently held its 2017 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education in Atlanta, Georgia. The event attracted over 1200 attendees fixated on discovering fresh ways to engage audiences.

Keynote speakers included Stefanie Miller, Coca-Cola Company Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnership Marketing and Jaime Casap, Google Education Evangelist.

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Study Shows Consumers Will Pay a Price Premium for Brands that Take a Stand

Although recent studies show that trust in the government and public institutions is declining, the same is not true for brands. In fact, new research from global marketing and communications firm Edelman suggests consumers may trust brands more than the government.

The 2017 Edelman Earned Brand study, released last month, reports that 51 percent of those surveyed said that brands could do more to solve social ills than the government. Consumers want more from brands today; they want to know if brands will step up to the plate environmentally and socially in ways the government has failed.

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Top 5 Reasons to Apply for C-TPAT Certification

As the incidence of terrorist acts has increased around the globe, more manufacturers are recognizing the importance of supply chain security and thus applying for the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) program. Founded in 2001, participation in the C-TPAT program continues to climb. Today, more than 11,400 certified partners have been accepted into the program.

Led by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), C-TPAT works with the trade community to strengthen international supply chains and improve U.S. border security. The partners include U.S. importers and exporters, manufacturers, customs brokers, carriers and others – all of whom account for more than 52 percent (by value) of cargo imported into the U.S., according to CBP.

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Mitigate Risk By Validating Quality Up Front

One Year Later, IKEA’s Tip-over Troubles Continue

A little over a year ago, the furniture retailer IKEA recalled 29 million dressers and chests from its MALM line following the deaths of seven children. According to the Consumer Product Safety Co, the IKEA products did not comply with the U.S. voluntary industry standard and thus posed a serious tip-over hazard.

IKEA offered consumers a full refund on the unsafe chests and dressers sold from 2002 through June 2016 as well as free wall anchoring kits. Three of the families whose children were killed took IKEA to court. IKEA agreed to settle all three wrongful death claims for the sum of $50 million plus donations to children’s charities.

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AMA Conf. Attendees Abuzz by Message of BRAND PROTECTION

A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the American Marketing Association’s 2017 Annual Conference, held at Caesars Palace Hotel. It was a small group – only 300 attendees – but the gathering attracted some big names.

Keynote and session speakers included Nancy Poznoff, Starbucks VP of Marketing; Andrew Keller; Facebook Global Creative Director; Andrew Swinand, Leo Burnett CEO; and Brad Batesole, LinkedIn Marketing Consultant. Also, representatives from Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase and Content Marketing Institute attended. Like I said: big names, small group.

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Compelling Associations to Value Promotional Products and Associate with Brand Reputation

You would think that the attendees of a conference held by an association for association executives would be hyper-aware of compliance issues. But I discovered, upon attending the Annual Meeting and Exposition of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), that this isn’t necessarily the case.

Promotional Products Providers

It’s a given that trade associations are significant users of promotional products. Because their events provide a venue for their distribution of mass amounts of promotional products, I expected them to know about promotional products. I was not disappointed. With the number of trade shows run by associations, the association executives I spoke to were very familiar with promotional products.

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