Professional Attitude

Canada’s trade body for promotional products is helping its 1,300 members address the changing nature of the sector in North America.

The promotional products market in Canada is a$1.8 billion industry with apparel and drinkware/housewares leading the defined product categories sales with 39% and 14% respectively. The largest growing product category is business and recognition gifts which continues to increase year after year.

In today’s world of promotional products, distributors are facing many challenges, the main one being the on-line availability of the entire array of products. Corporate buyers are better educated and can effectively source out everything they could use for their marketing needs without a distributor.

Distributors must shift from being order takers to marketing consultants and bring value to the corporate buyer. The majority of distributors in Canada are small businesses with less than five staff members, which may hinder their overall success as the needs of the corporate buyer changes. Many distributor companies are looking at forming or joining buying groups to pool resources to compete in today’s market.

The Promotional Product Professionals of Canada (PPPC) was founded in 1956 by a group of people actively engaged in the promotional products business. They legally formed a not-for-profit, federally chartered organisation in Montreal called Specialty Advertising Counselors of Canada (SACC). The name was later changed to Specialty Advertising Association of Canada (SAAC) in 1982, and updated to The Promotional Products Association of Canada (PPACanada) in 1992. In November 2007, the current name of Promotional Product Professionals of Canada Inc. (PPPC) was adopted.

PPPC’s head office remains in Montreal today, staffed by twelve full-time employees, each a professional in their field. They serve more than 1,300 members in both official languages.

Besides advocating for the industry, PPPC looks at providing our members with great value for their investment in membership, as the number one goal. We provide industry participants the opportunity to join PPPC and gain access to our main member benefit, Promocan. Promocan provides our distributor members access to more than 150,000 of PPPC member suppliers’ products while marketing our distributors to the corporate world with their own branded website. It is an ongoing process of continued development and upgrades, necessary to maintain our strong position in the Canadian promotional market.

The promotional products industry has seen remarkable change over the past few years. Today’s buyer expects orders to be received, processed and delivered without any delays. Industry participants need the capacity to provide service at that level. The on-line promotional products industry will continue to expand into gaps that will fill the latest needs of the buyer demographic. Besides the one constant that is change, the human element and relationships forged in this industry will continue to play a role in the traditional supply chain providing companies adapt and address the needs of the future.

For more information on the Canadian promotional products industry, visit

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