First announced in a PPB Newslink Breaking News alert on Wednesday, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa has proposed a bill to cut government spending that takes direct aim at the promotional products industry as it would prohibit federal agencies from spending on promotional products to promote themselves and their programs. Tomorrow, PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, is meeting with Sen. Ernst’s staff in D.C. to discuss the bill and make clear that not only are promotional products companies and practitioners an important part of their communities and economy, but that promotional products are proven to be one of the most effective forms of media available to advertisers, and the messages they carry help governments at every level keep their citizens informed and well prepared.

"While it might be tempting to limit the purchase of promotional products in order to yield some short-term savings, in the long term this prohibition may unintentionally diminish the good work of federal agencies,” says Bellantone. “Time and again, promotional products have proven themselves to be the most cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience with the highest rate of recall, reaction and return on investment.”

Although the text of Sen. Ernst’s bill has not been released, it has been given a number and official title, “S.2722, A bill to prohibit agencies from using federal funds for publicity or propaganda purposes, and for other purposes,” and assigned to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Along with Bellantone’s visit to D.C., PPAI is working in collaboration with other industry organizations to encourage industry members to take action now by emailing Sen. Ernst and Sen. Paul, and their legislators in Washington, D.C. to ensure they are watching out for their interests.

Bellantone adds, “It would be counterproductive for Congress to pass a bill that would eliminate any opportunity for the government to use promotional products in a powerful and effective manner. It will take a concerted effort by the entire industry—including practitioners, companies and representative national and regional trade organizations—to work together to advocate for our businesses, products and profession.”

Follow PPB Newslink for more on the legislation and what can be done to educate Congress on the effectiveness of promotional products and advocate for the industry.