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SC-M goes back to the future

SC-M Creative Merchandise has gone Back to the Future to show how technology showcased in the 1985 film really might exist in real-life 2015.

With today’s advancements in charging tech, and a large dose of creativity, SC-M’s team are celebrating the virtual launch of the Mr Fusion USB Energy Reactor concept. Powered by domestic waste, it can charge up to 100 USB items or even an electric car in only 10 minutes!

Mr Fusion, invented by Doc Emmett Brown in Back To The Future, gave the DeLoreon its 1.21 gigawatts of power just from recycled waste. A product from the Mr Fusion range would be an awesome asset in any office.

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Suppliers tee off with Brand Addition

With the Costa del Cheshire weather set fair, the fourth annual Brand Addition Cup at Shrigley Hall Hotel in September proved to be a great success.

The team competition was won by Supplier Victory, while the victor of the individual competition and nearest the pin was Clive Allcott of Essential Embroidery Design. The winner in the long drive was Nicky Gold of Brand Addition.

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Success for Falcon Promotions gift show

Falcon Promotions, based in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, held another successful exhibition – it’s first since it was acquired by Fluid Branding this year.

The Business & Advertising Gifts Show was held at the Rowley Mile at Newmarket Racecourse, offering guests a chance to meet around 36 suppliers and take a close look at the business and advertising gifts they offer. Alongside a free goody bag, there was a chance to win an iPad Mini.

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Portable Power

Matt Pluckrose of Desktop Ideas on 10 things you need to know about power banks.

1) A power bank is a battery to charge your gadgets and electronic devices. They are generally rated in their battery capacity (milliampere-hour or mAh), in their output capacity 0.5-1A (smartphones only) or 2.1-3A (smartphones and tablets) and by the speed at which they charge input voltage/mAh and output voltage/mAh – the higher the input rating, the quicker it will re-charge your device.

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Winning ideas ahead at Trophex

The annual Trophex show is returning, taking place on January 17 and 18 at the NEC in Birmingham – a must-attend event for anyone who works in the trophy, awards and personalisation industry.

Visiting Trophex will help you to diversify and grow your business, look for new suppliers and get better deals, and find out about new innovations and products on the market.  See the latest engraving machinery in action via demonstrations, see the latest trends for the coming season and take advantage of special offers that exhibitors will be offering exclusively to Trophex visitors.

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IPPAG looks to the future at 50

Members past and present helped the IPPAG Cooperative celebrate its 50th anniversary in the beautiful setting of Saint-Paul de Vence and Nice in the south of France.

Events included a two-day Open Forum about the future of the Cooperative and the industry, a 2CV rally through the countryside, a pétanque tournament and the 50th-anniversary gala dinner.

Florence Mosnier, IPPAG Cooperative general manager, commented: “We are very fortunate to count such brilliant minds and industry players in our group and evolving at their sides has been a privilege. Our 50th anniversary is an opportunity to honour the past with the presence of our ‘old tigers’ and look to the future with our Open Forum meetings exploring the true value of IPPAG.”

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Process over product

Alex Turner, managing director of Listawood, explains how  the best solutions are about more than just product.

As a printer over the years, I’ve seen too many orders going through the system where the process could have delivered so much more than the design chosen. Bland pictures of delivery lorries or shipping vessels, even PowerPoint slides or clip art used as the basis for a promotional product that will have cost the end user many thousands of pounds of jealously guarded marketing budget. This is not something that the ultimate recipient is very likely to retain, which is, of course, the great strength of promotional merchandise as an advertising medium when targeted properly. Worst of all, the end user might conclude that the blandly branded mugs or diaries that they bought were a waste of money and be turned off from using merchandise in the future.

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Film role for Promo the Panda

Great Central Plastics demonstrated how promotional products are about fun with the help of Promo the Panda.

The company ran a competition themed around the mascot of Promotional Products Week, offering UK distributors the prize of £250 off their next order. They had to watch a short video and email how many times they spotted the panda.

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Ancestors helps bpma mark 50 years

The Ancestors Group, trading as ANC Manufacturing, created a 3D metal bookmark as a gift to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the bpma.

Carrying the association’s logo, it was given out to guests on the bpma’s anniversary cruise on the Thames, designed to be something that would be kept, have a practical use and be valuable as well as being made in the UK.

A sculptor made a model of the logo, using a silicon mould and casting the pieces in lead-free pewter onto a brass bookmark template, 24ct gold plating, laser engraving and finally the packaging.

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Industry veterans recall ‘the good old days’

100% mark-up, £5 origination, £5,000 annual salary…. that must be a long time ago.

So what happens when four industry retired figures come together? They talk about the good old days! bpma director general Gordon Glenister arranged for George Hayward, founder of the Page Group, Marion Oxley of Lesmar, Tony Cohen of the Incentive Group and Keith Willis, founder of Dowlis, to come together for lunch and talk about how the industry has changed over the last 50 years as part of the bpma’s 50th-anniversary year.

Keith started his career in 1972 with Gale Melville and, before long, headed up the newly formed business gifts division. Don Wood and Keith Willis saw Gale was going nowhere and created a new company out of their names, Don and Willis, which is how Dowlis was formed.

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The bpma Celebrates 50 Years

The industry came together to mark the association’s half-century milestone.

More than 100 party-goers celebrated as the bpma marked its 50th anniversary with a river cruise down the Thames.

The bpma was founded 50 years ago by Samuel Raymond “Nobby” Clarke from Prestige Group after a visit to Chicago where he attended the National Premium Sales Executives show and came away inspired to set up a similar association in the UK.

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ANC’s Manufacturing Processes

ANC Manufacturing is a leading supplier to Promotional Product Distributors. We are a proud member of the British Promotional Merchandise Association and Giftware Association.

ANC Manufacturing is part of the Ancestors Group, established in 1992. The business has developed and evolved with a solid background and track record in research, design and manufacture for the heritage and corporate sectors. The company has become uniquely placed to service these industries through its extensive knowledge and manufacturing capabilities. 

17 different manufacturing processes are carried out on our premises in Folkestone and all can be used to create great products swiftly for the promotional market.

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Promotional Products Week 2015 certainly did invoke action

Members of the bpma ran activities across the country to support this year’s campaign.

The industry got behind the third Promotional Products Week (PPW) in September to raise the profile of promotional products and encourage their use within the marketing mix.  Activities throughout the week engendered many thousands of media impressions as member companies swung into action.

It saw the release of new research from the bpma into marketers’ attitudes to branded merchandise, which revealed the pen was still respondents’ favourite promotional item. See page 37 for more on this research.

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New twist for Senator pen

Senator is now offering a larger than normal clip print area for Signer Liner, winner of a Red Dot design award.

The premium twist mechanism Signer Liner is now available from the UK with a 35 x 6mm one-colour print on the jet black clip.  It is made from a unique combination of metal and plastic.

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The Pen Warehouse adds 360° laser engraving

Thanks to investment in cutting-edge technology, The Pen Warehouse now offers 360° laser engraving on 118 of its products with a five-day standard lead time.

Traditionally, the laser engraving process has only been able to mark a restricted area on a cylindrical pen. It only has line-of-sight of one side of the barrel and cannot engrave around it. This means it is typically limited to an engraving height of between 6mm and 10mm.

However, technological advances mean the machine can now also engrave around the circumference of the pen at the same time, making the entire 360° of the barrel available for branding.

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Factory visits offer hands-on experience

The bpma education programme factory visits were a real success for the summer and autumn seasons and prove to be a highlight of the learning journey. The factory visits have been created to complement the course content for the Trained in Promotional Merchandise (TPM) level qualification, allowing learners to engage with suppliers, see theory in practice and gain hands-on production experience.

Commenting on the benefi ts of a factory visit, Listawood’s sales director Sim Shalom reports: “It’s useful to be able to spend time helping learners to gain a better understanding of the many printing and production processes involved in the accurate branding and manufacturing of a wide range of ceramic products and other best-selling items.”

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Blended learning approach underpins bpma education growth

The bpma education programme continues to grow, with over 120 active learners on the programme. Daniela Arena, professional development manager at the bpma, comments: “We now offer a blended learning approach on the education programme. Learners can attend an introductory seminar, held in London, and are encouraged to attend a supplier factory visit organised by the bpma. They can also attend a credit-weighted boot camp or similar event.

“The majority of the learning is still delivered online, allowing people to study at a time and place to suit them. To enhance the online learning, we are launching new content within the 14 subject categories into the programme four times a year. New content will be relevant and written specifically for our industry by experts of the fi eld within the industry.”

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Matt’s marathon effort Stateside

Matt Franks, CEO of Fluid Branding and chairman of the bpma, was preparing to run the New York Marathon as Product Media was going to press.

He is raising money for Pancreatic Cancer UK and, although he was running the marathon on November 1, you can still donate via

Matt (pictured) said: “Earlier this year I entered the New York Marathon on a whim, not dreaming of actually getting a place.  I got lucky through the ballot – first time – and so the hard work began.”

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Rugby World Cup pride for Touch of Ginger

Medals handed out at the end of the Rugby World Cup were the result of months of development in secret by design company Touch of Ginger.

They were briefed to produce three different sets of medals: for the World Cup finalists and winners of the third and fourth place play-off; for the remaining 17 teams; and for the helpers.

Touch of Ginger director Adam Cash said: “The helpers’ gifts are for everyone involved in helping to put together what is a huge logistical challenge, so they have something to say thank you to them.”

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Bags exempt from plastic bag tax

The Government’s tax levy on plastic bags in larger retailers has come into force but what polythene bags are exempt from the tax?

The levy is applied to retailers with 250 employees or more and only for bags that are 70 microns thick or less, with handles, and not having been previously used. Polythene bags that are exempt are returnable multiple reuse bags that must be:

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