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Category: Interviews

Birrell explains the value of giving on BBC show

Jon Birrell, the BPMA CEO, recently took part in a. BBC World Service radio programme called The Why Factor. The programme, which is to be broadcast later in the year examined the complexities around giving presents. As an industry expert, Birrell was invited to talk about promotional gifts having the ability to trigger an emotional reaction, resulting in a smile and a ‘thank you’ from the recipient. “Companies are very happy to create this level of positive feelings associated with their brands,” he said. “Compare this reaction to other forms of media that are here today and gone tomorrow.

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In the hot seat with David Long

Q. What have been the milestones in your career?

A. My early management career was in the blue-chip corporate arena latterly with Thorn EMI. In 1987 I joined the now defunct, but legendary, Bourne Publicity. At the time it was the largest distributor in the UK and an exciting innovator that everyone looked up to. In 1990 I joined Dowlis Group as managing director and with a great team, we grew the company from£1.9 million to £13m turnover in 12 years, firmly establishing it as the largest independent promotional merchandise distributor in the UK. In 2002 I decided I wanted my own business and Dynamic Image was founded.

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Digital Marketing With Bite

Located in London’s trendy digital quarter of Shoreditch, fast-growing digital marketing community Digital Doughnut has become one of the most sought-after platforms for marketing content to be published online, and its marketing push-pull approach reaches 1.1 million members.

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Our resident technology expert, Matt Pluckrose answers more questions on how tech is influencing product media.

Q. What external technology do you see affecting promo tech in the coming months?

A. As always technology is racing and currently the buzz areas would include the Internet of Everything, artificial intelligence, VR and AR, with 5G to come plus new updated software and hardware such as Bluetooth 5. Such changes are developing new product markets including smart home speakers (Alexa, Google home, and so on), internet/wireless security devices, self-driving cars, wearable technology – the list goes on.

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In the Hot Seat – Ralf Oster

Q. How long have you been in the promotional products industry and where have you worked?

A. I have been working in the promotional products industry for around 15 years now. Previous to my 10 years at companies who specialise in this market, including PF Concept, I was at Newell where we had a B2B promotion division for our writing instrument brands (Parker, Waterman, PaperMate, Rotring).

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Fighting spirit

Mo Yusuff, boss of Club Row Creations recently showed that he was also the boss of the ring when he took part in a boxing bout to raise funds after the Grenfell Tower fire. He explained his motivation and boxing background to Product Media.

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Fighting for the Fans’ Hearts

Event Merchandising has been involved in the world of wrestling for more than 20 years. With the sport set to make a high-profile comeback on ITV as World of Sport Wrestling, Event Merchandising MD, Jeremy Goldsmith interviewed wrestling star and the show’s producer, Jeff Jarrett, about the importance of merchandise for fans of the sport.

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Ladder of Success

Education is the route to greater professionalism, and the BPMA offers a clear pathway to skills development.

The BPMA education programme is growing from strength to strength with just over 100 learners registering in 2016 alone. The demand for a structured industry-specific training programme that can be integrated into each business is rising steadily.

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Better Safe Than Sorry

Compliance and product safety are becoming business critical issue for promotional companies. Andrew Hill explains why it matters and how the BPMA can help.

Q. Why are big brands becoming more focused on compliance and product safety?

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Ask Clive – Applique vs Traditional Embroidery

Q: Applique vs traditional embroidery – which is best for you and your customer?

A: Are you aware that you have options when it comes to embroidery? You can choose to go with the standard, more traditional type of embroidery which we use on a daily basis, or you can use a different technique called applique.

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Promotion at the speed of technology

Technology and gadgets change fast, so there are always plenty of questions. Matt Pluckrose comes up with some rapid-fire answers

1) What are the main upcoming technologies that are going to impact promotional merchandise?

Areas to keep an eye on are app driven gadgets, virtual reality, growth of health and well-being devices, wearable technology, and wireless charging in relation to what Apple does with iPhone 7.

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Ask Clive – discovering what the customer needs

Q: As a distributor, some of my customers do not have promotional clothing requirements, or do they?

A: Over the past few months I have been attending and presenting at some terrific and beneficial end user shows with selected distributors. With clothing and decoration being at the forefront of my presentation, I was surprised at that when I asked visitors about their demand for clothing, the reply would sometimes be that they didn’t have any.

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