Feedback from the industry

Feedback from the industry 2016-10-21T14:21:52+00:00

Regarding the “Promotional Products Day”

Older statements can be found here.


Jörg Dennig, CEO, Jung Bonbon, D-Vaihingen/Enz

“We welcome all measures that are designed to bring the promotional product forward and thus revive the market, particularly in times of economic difficulty like those we are experiencing today. Of course based on the premise that we stick to a system that protects the promotional products distributor.  We, the suppliers, need the promotional products distributors as multiplicators for our products. This is why each manufacturer, importer and supplier is called upon to make a clear distinction between net prices for the promotional products trade and the gross prices that are passed on to the industry customers. I can understand the concern among the industry, which has come about primarily due to the PSI communication that was not optimally worded and which has caused a great deal of uncertainty. However, if everyone in the market strictly adheres to the gross/net price system, I would be in favour of opening the PSI up to the industry customer on the third day. The role model here is the American system of the ASI, where it is normal for all of the market participants to communicate with each other, whereby the whole process occurs via the distributors and is governed by clearly laid down terms. I am much more worried about the plans for the PSI Show to be opened up to distributors that have registered in the European Certified Distributors database, but who are not PSI-members. So far we have always welcomed professional promotional products players to our stand, and that is the way I want it to stay. But I think the PSI has only reached the discovery phase here so far.”


Federico Vitolo, Marketing Manager NBL Vitolo, I-Rome

“I understand that almost all of the German distributors I have spoken to are against the PSI’s idea of opening the trade show up more to the end users. As a foreign supplier, I gain no benefit from meeting these people, as I have no way of serving such a category of customers from my office in Rome. They are used to a high standard of service, and I don’t know what the market needs in the European and other countries. On the other hand, I am scared that some distributors will not attend the trade show as a result anymore and this goes against my interests as a potential exhibitor.”


Holger Kapanski, CEO of the distributor alliance, DIE6 Promotion Service, D-Hagen

“The PSI‘s reply to the reactions from the industry to their planned “Promotional Products Day” has not clarified the situation, but has indeed raised even more questions. We are still not in favour of the PSI’s plans and will issue a detailed statement in this connection. DIE6 is in close contact with the industry associations and all of the parties involved are interested in finding a joint forward-looking approach.”


Michael Hagemann, CEO, Distribution Service Hagemann, D-Eichenau

“In its form as a closed-shop event the PSI Show has been bringing the maximum benefit to the exhibitors and visitors for 50 years.  Opening the show up to industry customers is on the other hand a no-go situation that will weaken the existing structures, instead of reinforcing them – as stated in the PSI’s special newsletter. In this respect I am happy to be considered as “an eternal yesterday man”. The “Promotional Products Day” in its presently planned form is not practical and seems rather unrealistic to me. Industry customers who walk around the PSI Show won’t see the wood for the trees. We only just about manage to get round all of the stands in three days after dividing it up between a team of four of us. How can the industry customer possible manage it in a day? The huge amount of exhibitors that are showcasing the same product groups will totally overtax them. Well at least the industry customer will then learn to appreciate the advice he receives from the promotional products distributor who leads him through the promotional products jungle all year round. Personally, as a promotional products distributor, I haven’t got the time to accompany industry customers around the fair on a third day. Apart from that I wouldn’t know which of my hundred top customers I should choose. And which 50 promotional products distributors are going to have the privilege of being “allowed” to invite one of their customers? The whole concept is not at all well-thought through. If the PSI had included this measure from the very beginning as part of their market research survey, so that for instance 50 industry customers are accompanied around the show by scouts in groups of five and are subsequently posed questions by the market researchers in following interviews, the whole thing could have contributed towards improving the standing of the promotional product and would thus be of benefit to the distributor and the market. But as things stand one asks oneself what is going to happen in 2014 or 2015. A completely open industry day could be on someone’s wish list, which would definitely by detrimental to the industry or wholesale sector. Hinder the start! The PSI will definitely come across opposition. Already a number of exhibitors – including famous companies – have announced they will not participate in the PSI if these plans go ahead. I haven’t actually occupied myself with the subject of the PSI Show opening up to European Certified Distributors, because I have been busy with other important projects at the moment, but I think the PSI will succeed in encouraging the entire European promotional products trade to visit the show, if this will bring the PSI Show itself advantages. This would provide new potential for the exhibitors and overall it would do the event good in its capacity as the largest promotional products institution in Europe.“


Marcus Schulz, CEO, Giffits GmbH, D-Hamburg

“In spite of many other opinions we are quite open to this discussion. In order to prevail on the continually changing market, one has to follow the times. Our market is becoming more and more transparent as a result of the Internet and it is already very easy for industry customers to track down manufacturers and approach them. If we, the distributors, stand still, we will get left behind. Discussing new approaches also includes the “Promotional Products Day”, working out which paths to take is an essential part of the work that we are now faced with. Granting a small number of industry customers access to the show, accompanied by just one distributor, gives them the opportunity to give the industry customer an unfiltered insight into the huge spectrum of the products available. This is a good opportunity to get to know the customer better, to learn from the situation and to develop one’s consulting approach. Furthermore, the promotional product is just one possible from of advertising and has to compete against TV spots, radio advertising, print, etc. The “Promotional Products Day” makes the promotional product more interesting to the press to and all distributors can profit from this. But it is always important that the discussion is held across the board and that all sides of the argument are brought to light. Only then can we achieve results that everyone benefits from long-term.”


Marco Römisch, CEO, Burg Services, D-Cologne

“The differentiation between suppliers, distributors, end customers, which is still strictly upheld in other industries, has not existed in our industry for a long time already. We have got a heterogeneous market, which everyone operates in according to their alignment. There is no stopping this development now. The market is becoming more and more diluted and the industry has to act accordingly – also in the form of a corresponding, open show. However, the PSI cannot be such a show, because it only works as a close-shop event. As a PSI-member I am also in favour of a show that is strictly for members. If the PSI abandons this concept, being a member will provide no added value anymore and the PSI could lose its reason to exist as an organisation and service purpose as a result.“


Jens Giesen, CEO, Stockmann GmbH, D-Witten


“Dear Mr. Freter,

We acknowledge with disbelief the changes that are currently planned for the coming PSI Show in January 2013 and the related “Promotional Products Day”. In our opinion this “event” should rather be referred to as “End of the Promotional Products Day”, which is quite appropriate for the year 2012, because according to the Maya calendar this is when time will come to an end. Do you really want to end the era of the “Present Service Institute” with such ill-considered actions? We have been a member of the PSI since 1975, however, should a single industry customer be officially granted access to the show, we will enforce the membership cancellation, which you have already received, immediately. Your current proposal to open up the show to 50 industry customers is also unacceptable for us and in our eyes the beginning of the end. Once paying members no longer have an influence on such far-reaching decisions, something is definitely very wrong. A further point that is worrying us is that the distributor purchase prices are indicated on some of the items at the exhibition stands and these will then also be visible to the industry customers. Furthermore, one would have to inform the industry customers of the industry prices and the distributors of the net prices while both are stood next to each other, how can this possibly work? Or are there only going to be uniform prices in future? In this case the services of the promotional products distributors will become superfluous, which would be a shame, because this is what we all live from.”