German associations finally get together

For the first time in Germany’s 55-year history of the promotional merchandise industry, the country has a single united promotional merchandise trade association. The move which unites 5,000 companies and more than 50,000 employees in a single body has been subject to lengthy negotiations with each of the old associations having to declare a formal vote in favour of the change.

The inaugural meeting of the new look GWW (general association of promotional product industry) was held in March in Mainz. Present were members of all the associations, bwg (German association of promotional product consultants and distributors), BWL (German association of promotional product suppliers), AKW (promotional products working group) and PSI.

Michael Freter, managing director of PSI and GWW board member, said: “To date, we have been unable to make the politicians sufficiently aware of the importance and value of the industry simply because it is too small and is not heard properly in Berlin. And this has resulted in its most important task: we have to sell our creativity and promotional effectiveness of the products more empathically. We need to be louder.”

Hans-Joachim Evers, formerly honorary chairman of bwg, called for the whole German promotional merchandise industry to “get involved in GWW”.

GWW will hold elections in December at the Annual General Meeting, with the old board continuing to run the association’s affairs until then. The board consists of Patrick Politze as Chairman plus Hans-Joachim Evers, Klaus Rosenberger, Michael Freter and Manfred Schlösser.

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