Does Your Promo Break the Law?May 31st, 2012 by Jennifer Vaughn
The internet and social media have made our customers more highly informed than ever before. Back before data was so widely available, our customers came to us with the specifics of their promotional campaigns because they needed us to source products to fit their marketing and advertising goals – that is, after all, our area of expertise.
Nowadays, our customers can source products themselves through internet search or by tapping their social networks. As a result, we don’t always know the intended use of the products our customers are ordering. The shift has been slow and subtle, but it’s there.
While there are benefits to having a more informed consumer base, developing this habit of “shopping list” fulfillment of promotional products isn’t the right solution. In the best case scenarios, we deliver your product (on time, of course) and your event is a success. On the downside, however, your product idea could be a complete mis-match for your audience. Or worse, it could be illegal.
For example, If a local drugstore wants to give away a swag bag of items, and in it, include a free sample of an over-the-counter allergy medication, the bag of promotional items can’t be handed away for free. A nominal amount of money (1-cent) must exchange hands as an indication that the recipient understands that he or she is receiving a drug. If we don’t know about the extras being included in the bag, we can’t advise on technicalities like that.
Clay Johnson talks about being highly informed versus being well informed in his book, The Information Diet, and these types of interactions with our clients are an excellent example. While so many of us are highly informed nowadays, our knowledge is often spread widely, not deeply.
To overcome these potential knowledge pitfalls, we all need to recognize our particular areas of expertise and engage others for their their areas of expertise.