Counselor® PromoGram®
Volume 987 / January 22, 2013
Click here to read this and past issues online.

Hawaii Begins Enforcing Plastic Bag Ban
As part of a gradual phase-out program, retailers in Hawaii County, HI, are now required to charge shoppers a small fee for single-use plastic bags – the beginning of a ban that will eventually extend across the entire state. The new law, which went into effect late last week, mainly affects grocery stores, restaurants and farmers’ markets.

“In the end, this bill is not about plastic bags, politics or the Hawaii County City Council,” said Hawaii County Mayor Bill Kenoi. “It’s about protecting our beautiful island.”

With the new law, Hawaii County becomes the third of Hawaii’s four counties to enforce a single-use plastic bag ban, joining Kauai and Maui. Retailers in Honolulu County will face a ban starting July 1, 2015. In keeping with the gradual change supported by legislators, by January 17, 2014, all single-use plastic bags will be prohibited in Hawaii County. 

“Cutting down on petroleum-based plastic packaging and also paper packaging, lessens our dependence on foreign oil and use of natural resources while reducing air, land and water pollution,” said Paul Buklarewicz, the president of Keep Hawaii Beautiful.

If a business violates the Hawaii County ordinance, it will first receive a warning letter. A second violation will result in a $250 fine and a third violation will carry a $500 fine. Retailers that break the law four or more times will face a $1,000 fine, per offense. The ordinance does allow for ban exemptions in cases where plastic bags are used for items like fish, meat, nuts, fresh produce and prescription drugs.

More Ed Grads Certified
ASI recently awarded 18 more industry pros with education certifications, with more than 24,000 enrolled in ASI’s free Online Learning Center.
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Virtual Samples Coming to ESP Mobile
New version will include 40 new features, including speak to search.
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ASI welcomes the following suppliers to the ESP Websites network.
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Find, review, and purchase the latest exclusive ASI products...
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NewClients Acquires VATEX
Richmond, VA-based NewClients Promotional Marketing (asi/282470) announced this morning that it has completed an asset purchase of fellow Richmond distributor VATEX America Inc. (asi/351285). According to the terms of the all-cash transaction, NewClients is retaining VATEX’s current sales, account management and operations employees. It is also taking over VATEX’s embroidery operation, and 12 VATEX employees are joining NewClients, bringing the company’s total staff to 49.

"The acquisition of VATEX falls perfectly into our business plan of strengthening our regional and national exposure,” said Teki Hall, president and CEO of NewClients. “VATEX brings an exceptional sales team with many years of experience, along with a strong diversified client list. The company has an established history of representing some of the country’s largest brands and we are excited to have them join the NewClients family.”

Ben Kutner, president of VATEX, said the deal with NewClients comes at the right time for both him and his company. "NewClients aligns perfectly with our core values,” he said. “There is a common thread in the team atmosphere in which both companies operate. With my pending retirement, the timing was right to partner with a larger entity and NewClients was the perfect choice because of their management and operational expertise.”

NewClients, a member of Counselor’s Best Places to Work list, has been in business for 30 years and experienced revenue growth of 32% in 2012. The company is forecasting further revenue increases in the 40% to 45% range in 2013.


Digital Ad Spending: $100 Billion & Rising
Having surpassed the $100 billion mark for the first time last year, global digital advertising spending will increase 15% to $118.4 billion in 2013, according to a new report from research firm eMarketer. Including online and mobile advertising and other message-based formats, digital advertising spending will account for 22% of the total amount spent on ads in all media this year, should eMarketer's estimate ring true. By 2016, spending on digital ads could account for a quarter of the market, the research shows.

At 39%, North America accounted for the greatest share of all digital ad spending at the end of 2012. Over the next three years, however, North America and second-place Western Europe will lose share slightly as emerging markets in Latin America and Asia-Pacific gain ground. By 2016, 37% of spending will come from North America, and 24% from Western Europe. That same year, Asia-Pacific will contribute 30% of all digital ad spend in the world. While just 7% of ad dollars go to digital media in Africa and the Middle East, eMarketer anticipates that the percentage will double by the year 2016.

eMarketer forms its estimates of digital ad spending around the world based on the analysis of various elements related to the ad spending market, including macro-level economic conditions, historical trends of the advertising market, estimates from other research firms, and consumer Internet usage trends.


The Joe Show: Warm Up To New Products
In this episode of The Joe Show, Managing Editor Joe Haley shows off some new products perfect for those cold, winter promos. Looking for a cap or scarf that would appeal to many audiences? How about a unique wool blanket to keep promotional recipients warm? Check out the video for creative applications for five useful items.

Click here to watch this new-products episode of The Joe Show.

Want more videos? Subscribe now to our YouTube videos.


Counselor's How-To Minute: Grab Government Business
In a video report, Counselor presents a business strategy video each week that focuses on how distributor firms can overcome a specific challenge, make a key decision or rise to the occasion on an opportunity in front of them. In this episode: How to earn business from government agencies.

What free online resources can help you get started? How can you become a registered vendor? How low should you really bid and what margins can you expect? Check out the video for information you can use. 

In a quick, minute-long video, Counselor Senior Editor Dave Vagnoni walks viewers through three simple steps they can take to boost sales through government contracts. Click here to watch.


ASI Radio: Win Sales Away From Larger Competitors
On today's Tuesday Morning Show, the hosts took questions from callers who were looking for strategies for how they can compete effectively with larger competitors. Plus, we shared our Favorite Things, debated whether distributors should fire certain clients, and offered successful time-management tips.

If you missed the show, a recording is now available at And, don't forget to join us for our next broadcast – Tuesday, January 29. Log on at 10:30 a.m. ET to listen to the show – and give us a call at (215) 953-4979 to hear your voice on the air. 


Counselor Hot List Nominations Now Open
Are you doing something unique, hip, fun or trendy in the industry right now? Do you know somebody who is?

Counselor is looking for nominations of people for its annual Hot List. We're on the lookout for anyone in the industry who is taking an interesting approach to business, shaking up the status quo or simply networking like a maniac at all hours of the night. We're in search of those people who are making the industry a unique marketplace that's fun and energetic.

Send an e-mail by Friday, February 1, to Karen Akers at explaining why your nominee should be recognized on Counselor's Hot List. And, please make sure to include a picture of the person you're nominating.


Suppliers: Nominate Now For Product Design Awards
Counselor magazine is looking for innovative products for its Product Design Awards competition. Suppliers are invited to nominate their favorite eye-catching products in the following categories:

Awards & Recognition
Desk Accessories
Meeting Products
Sporting Goods
Tech Accessories
Watches & Jewelry
• Writing Instruments

In order to enter, please submit the following: A sample of the product. (We recommend that the product be exclusive to the supplier that is submitting it, although this is not a requirement.); a brief description of the product, including any special features; and the category that the product should be considered for.

There is a limit of one submission per category, per company. Please note that only products from North American suppliers will be considered and that submissions will not be returned unless specifically requested. Items that were entered in previous Counselor Product Design Awards competitions will not be considered. Please send all entries to: Karen Akers, Awards Editor, Counselor Magazine, 4800 Street Road, Trevose, PA 19053.

Questions? E-mail Karen Akers at All submissions will be judged on the following areas: design appeal, functionality and the ability to attractively feature a logo (when appropriate). All samples must be received by Friday, January 25.


In The News
4imprint (asi/197045) is now offering the third edition of an e-book called Promotional Products Work that showcases 103 ways to use promotional products. To download the PDF, click here.  

Dress Code (asi/48342) recently made an exclusive order of dog sweaters with a knit-in logo for the Presidential campaign. The product was featured in the merchandise store at

The Promotional Products Association of the Mid-South (PPAMS) has announced the nominees for the new Best of PPAMS Awards. Among the nominees are:
Supplier of the Year
• Hit Promotional Products (asi/61125)
• Shepenco (asi/86850)
• Thread F/X
Distributor of the Year
• Blue Dog Merch
• Geiger (asi/202900)
• Guy Brown Products (asi/199968)
For the full list of nominees, visit

The Quality Certification Alliance has granted QCA Accreditation to Gill Studios (asi/56950) in Lenexa, KS.


People On The Move
Hasseman Marketing (asi/221824) has hired Jeff Wickerham to the company's sales team.

P.O.P. Solutions Group (asi/359180) has promoted Ally Guscette to the position of sales representative.


The Advantages Roadshow, the industry’s most popular traveling show, is visiting the Northeast this week. Delivering top suppliers and hot, money-making products, the Roadshow is the most cost-effective and time-efficient way to find answers to your clients’ toughest challenges.

After a fantastic day in Boston on Monday, January, 21, the Roadshow is headed to:

► Tuesday, January 22 • Long Island • Sheraton Long Island Hotel
► Wednesday, January 23 • Secaucus • Empire Meadowlands Hotel by Clarion
►Thursday, January 24 • Philadelphia • Hilton Philadelphia City Avenue
► Friday, January 25 • Baltimore • Double Tree by Hilton Baltimore North - Pikesville

Come on over. All distributors are invited to attend the Advantages Roadshow for free. The morning schedule features distributor education from 7:45 a.m.-9 a.m. and 1 p.m.-2 p.m. and table top exhibits from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Visit for the complete 11-week Advantages Roadshow schedule.

February 6-8, 2013 • Hall F • Dallas Convention Center
The wait is nearly over. ASI Dallas, the largest event in the Southwest, is just around the corner and this year’s show is shaping up to be better than ever!

From an action-packed show floor featuring 500 of the industry’s leading suppliers and 61 education workshops to a Gala Celebration at Gilley’s and a Keynote by football legend Emmitt Smith, both suppliers and distributors are looking forward to ASI Dallas.

It’s not too late to join the excitement. Register today at ASI distributor/decorator members can attend all three days and receive a hotel room for the evening of February 7 at no cost.

Not an ASI Member? Click here for a special two-day pass to walk the show floor on February 7-8.

Follow The ASI Show on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook today!

The following are the dates and locations for The ASI Show in 2013:
Dallas, February 6-8
Long Beach, March 22-24
New York, May 8-9
Chicago, July 16-18

Plus, don’t miss the ASI Advantages Roadshow, the industry’s #1 traveling show. Visit for the complete schedule and go to for information on all ASI Shows.

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