PPAI Celebrates Legacies Of New Promotional Products Pioneers

Since 2015, PPAI’s Promotional Products Pioneers program has honored individuals whose business acumen or technological skill played a key role in the advancement of the promotional products industry. Pioneers recognized in the program have distinguished themselves through their vision, drive, innovation, character and leadership, contributed to the development of technologies, breakthrough product development or decorating techniques that stand out in industry advancement. The 2022 Promotional Product Pioneers are Tom Constantino of Noteworthy Co., for his breakthrough product development; Ronald L. Cook of Glass Graphics for his service as an industry champion; and Edward Halperin of Perin Product Corp. for industry innovation.

Constantino formed Noteworthy Co. in 1954 and invented litter bags. He also coined the slogan "Don't be a litterbug – Use a Litterbag" for the Keep America Beautiful organization and was known to personally get on calls with distributors and their clients to explain litter bags and how they need to be in every car. “A litterbag is an absolute necessity in every car in the United States … if we expect to keep our country clean and green.” The popularity of the litterbag, and Constantino’s concept for “in-car” advertising, opened a new opportunity for the industry, and bag manufacturers saw a new way to capitalize on their product’s ad potential. Constantino also worked to create crime prevention and drug awareness using coloring books to get the message out.

Cook of Glass Graphics created, staffed and managed a two-and-a-half-day sales training seminar called the Sales Institute Program. It was conducted in major cities around the country and featured general sales techniques as well as industry practices for opening new accounts and account development. He also created the Supplier Management Institute as the first educational program to focus on the needs of suppliers only. In his work with PPAI, he increased its education day attendance from 200 to 2,000 at the San Diego Summer Show in 1973. He also sold the Association’s board on major investments to fund education day programs in Dallas and Boston. Additionally, he co-authored 17 Marketing Problems Specialty Advertising Can Solve and was one of eight original founding members of the New England Promotional Products Association (NEPPA).

Instrumental in the creation of what is now PPAI, Halperin of Perin Product Corp. assisted in the merger of the Advertising Specialty National Association (ASNA) and the Advertising Specialty Guild to create SAAI/PPAI, making him one of founding fathers of the Association. He opened Perin Plastics Corp. in 1950 making matchbook lipsticks, “Lippettes,” and expanded the business into plastic housewares and ice scrappers. He offered the opportunity to place logos on items, not just the standard “Your Ad Here in Three Lines.” Perin Plastic Corp. was later renamed Lippette and eventually purchased by Prime Resources Corp. In addition, Halperin held three U.S. patents on products sold in the promotional products industry and developed an award-winning sales program.

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