Participate as an Advocate

Leading the Way

The Advocacy Council is comprised of industry leading distributors that advocate for brand safety through the responsible sourcing of promotional products. Advocates recognize QCA as the industry standard by which industry firms consistently deliver safe, high quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. Together, the Advocacy CouncilQCA Accredited Suppliers, and users of promotional products are forming new levels of collaboration, to effectively ensure supply chain transparency and control that protects brand reputations.

Fortune 1000 customers have become more proficient at vetting their promotional products supply chains, and they are demanding that their promotional vendors provide a proactive, comprehensive compliance solution. While suppliers by definition accept much of the product safety and compliance responsibility, distributors play an active role in the process by choosing to work primarily with suppliers that have demonstrated they can proactively meet the needs of their end-buyer clients.

Proactive comprehensive compliance programs require new levels of collaboration and partnership at every level in the supply chain in order to be successful. These deeper supplier/distributor relationships result in better solutions to customer compliance requirements as well as greater protection for the value of their brands. The QCA Advocacy Council enables participants to formally commit to meeting the higher standards of Fortune 1000 companies through partnering with QCA Accredited Suppliers that have been independently verified as having processes and procedures in place to consistently deliver safe and compliant products.

Through QCA’s Advocate level participation model, industry distributors can collectively voice their desire for more supplier, decorator and manufacturer accountability. Many smaller distributors often lack the political or financial clout to drive industry change, so the Advocacy Council makes it possible for brand-safety-focused distributors of all sizes to make their desires known as one large collective voice.

By becoming an Advocate, organizations are saying that responsible sourcing is so important to them that they are willing to invest in the betterment of their suppliers. Advocate fees enable the cost of Supplier Accreditation to remain affordable and attainable for suppliers of all sizes. At the same time, the more suppliers that are accredited, the easier it will be for industry distributors to be confident in their supply chains.

Independent, third-party validation offers greater compliance assurances, eases the compliance knowledge burden for distributors and their end-buyer clients, and provides a type of outsourced compliance program for smaller distributors who lack the resources necessary for a truly robust compliance program.

Advocacy Council Benefits

  • Differentiation in a crowded market.
  • Identification on QCA website and all redeveloped, and newly-developed content sharing platforms.
  • A list of all QCA participating companies will be shared regularly with our extensive list of end-buyer contacts.
  • Earned media opportunities.
  • Use of Advocate “brand” identification.
  • Access to QCA prepared educational content- whitepapers, newsletters, industry surveys, prepared slide deck.
  • End-buyer focused marketing materials and Marketing Toolkit.
  • Joint QCA/Advocate representative marketing efforts – trade shows, end-user communication.
  • QCA staff participation/attendance during end-buyer conference calls and live presentations/meetings.
  • Staff training on leveraging QCA participation and value of brand safety.
  • Priority waiting list status for Distributor Certification Program.
  • Certificate of Advocate participation.
  • Opportunity to serve on QCA volunteer committees.
  • Direct affiliation with the promotional products industry’s only third-party validator of responsible sourcing best practices.
  • Input into helping guide QCA’s direction.
  • Invitation to annual QCA Meeting held during the PPAI Expo.
  • Share a collective voice with fellow distributors in demanding more transparency, accountability and verification of compliance.
  • Makes compliance easy.


What Distributors are Saying

“We actually began discussions before our launch because our values align very closely with the work of QCA,” said Tara Milburn, owner of Ethical Swag. “Our entire business is built on ensuring products are sourced responsibly. It is important for us to align ourselves with organizations that have shared objectives and to be a collective voice for social compliance, product safety and environmental stewardship.”

— Tara Milburn, President

Ethical Swag

“Shumsky is committed to providing our clients with a safer and more responsible solution relative to promotional products, and becoming aligned with the Quality Certification Alliance through our participation of the Distributor Advocacy Council (DAC) has been a compelling catalyst. It is very satisfying to have a seat at the table in this unique time of making a difference for the industry and the clients who buy promotional products. Not many organizations have the opportunity to truly be a pioneer, and Shumsky is proud to be a part of QCA’s mission of responsibility.”

— Mike Emoff, CEO

Shumsky Enterprises