Late Tuesday afternoon, Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa 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. The limits on promotional spending are included in a larger effort to reduce spending on public relations and advertising by federal agencies and departments.

"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 PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE. “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, S. 2722, and assigned to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. The legislation is co-sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

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. 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 us.

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.”

Learn more about Sen. Ernst’s bill and what industry members can do to educate Congress on the effectiveness of promotional products and advocate for the industry in Thursday’s PPB Newslink.