Vive L’Objet Media!

The market for promotional merchandise in France is buoyant. Juliette Salome explains how its trade body is building awareness of product media.

According to a study by France Pub/IREP, in 2017 the French promotional market spend is around €1,25 billion. This is made up of around 150 suppliers and 2,000 distributors with up to 600 specialists who make more than 50% of their turn over from promotional objects.

Like the UK, it is a sector that sometimes goes under the radar. For this reason, 2FPCO, the French trade body for promotional products, started a national ad campaign in September 2017. In its first year it is targeting advertising agencies who often ignore or are not aware of the impact that promotional objects have.

In France, there has been a federation of advertising objects since 1911. La Fédération Française des Professionnels de la Communication par l’Objet (2FPCO) is a non-profit organisation, that was founded in 2004, bringing together the three groups of the industry: importers, distributors and markers, in different independent colleges (groups).

The Federation colleges meet about three times a year. Its summer university, open to members and non-members, took place in Nice last June, bringing together some 60 companies and 90 people. It also runs industry awards, the night of the POPs, which take place during the CTCO in Lyon, and attracts about 540 people. Local ‘Apéripubs’ are groups that meet for an informal drink in different cities of France, including Lyon, Strasbourg, Nantes, Marseilles, and Paris.

Having developed a charter of compliance – in addition to the professional charter – that each member must fulfil on its commercial policy choices, 2FPCO also has an ethics committee to reduce inter-business friction.

The Federation keeps its members up-to-date, in particular on the regulatory level, through regular emails and updates on its dedicated website. Major trends we have you noticed in France include faster delivery teams and continued integration of services.

There is also a programme of conferences in schools that trains future advertisers, communicators, and salespeople. This compensates for the lack of information and training concerning advertising objects in the national education programmes. Our professional members carry out 30-35 of these training programmes per year.

Furthermore, the Federation communicates to advertisers via its ‘mornings of the object’ meetings concerning themes like CSR partners such as AFNOR or SGS.

As part of the drive to build awareness of product media, 2FPCO has studied the public in France concerning the perception they have of promotional objects. It found that:

  • 89% of people have a positive impression of the promotional object they have received
  • 77% of people would like to receive more promotional items
  • 75% remember better the brand associated with the promotional object received.

In the light of this research 2FPCO is positioning promotional objects under a new brand ‘L’Objet-Media’ and promoting it as a media in its own right. In the second and third year the campaign will expand and target directly the clients.

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