Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Promotional Custom Products Help Political Campaigns

I just found this article written by Brad White last February.  Even though it's been six months since this was posted, I feel Brad's statements regarding promotional products & his response to Jerry Brown's weak attempts to cut the state's spending are so significant, I'm reposting his letter now.

The original article that was written on Brad's blog has many comments stating the importance of customized promotional items & their effectiveness over other forms of advertising.

Open Letter to Gov. Jerry Brown
28 02 2011

Dear Governor Brown,

Last week, in an attempt to ease California’s budget deficit, you ordered state agencies to stop using promotional products to as a means to market their programs and services.  I was born in California and lived there for 25 years – I certainly understand the mess the state is in.  What I don’t understand is why you chose to ban one form of marketing but not others.  I don’t understand why you specifically went after promotional products:

“Not a cent of taxpayer money should be spent on flashlights, ashtrays or other unnecessary items, most of which likely end up in landfills.”

Pardon my tone, but are you really qualified to determine what kind of marketing is effective?  Speaking of things ending up in landfills, did you know that 99% of all direct mail is thrown away?  Why didn’t you ban direct mail?  I know why – because that mail is delivered by government employees.  Why didn’t you ban TV ads?  Well, we all know that it’s not smart for politicians to upset folks in entertainment.  And why not get rid of billboard advertising?  Oh that’s right, billboard company CBS Outdoor donates money to your art school charity – not to public schools, but to your hand-chosen art schools – so you better not upset the billboard guys.

And what about the products you are banning?  The “plastic gewgaws” as you call them.  Things like buttons, mugs, bags, bumper stickers, and t-shirts.

If using logoed merchandise is not a good way to promote your message, then why did you use so much of it in your election campaign?  You remember the election, the one where you and Meg Whitman fought tooth and nail to see who could spend the most money?

Governor Brown, I have no problem with you cutting spending – it must be done.  But why are you picking on promotional products instead of all forms of marketing?  Clearly you believe this is an effective form of marketing or you would not have used it.  If you want to cut marketing spending then cut it all – TV, radio, mail, billboards – ban all of it, or LEGALIZE PROMO!!!

I welcome your comment.

All I can say is pictures speak 1000 words. These are some of the promotional custom products Jerry Brown used in his campaign for governor of California.

Bumper sticker seen on cars all over the state while Jerry Brown was campaigning.

Maybe Governor Brown should look at promotional imprinted products from a different angle........since they  obviously worked for him, he should stress their validity to other businesses.  Think about economic growth, Governor, rather than inadequate ways of cutting spending.

Ronni Sherman


  1. Another useless statement from JB

  2. Thanks for posting my letter. To reiterate, I have no problem with spending cuts - I just don't think it's fair to single out one form of marketing while approving others - especially when Gov. Brown obviously saw enough value in promotional products to use them in his campaign.

  3. brad, i agree with everything you said in your letter which is why i reposted it. i strongly feel jerry brown shouldn't single out promotional items as a way to cut spending & it's insane to think he would even suggest it after using them widely & successfully for his purposes. i also don't have a problem w/ spending cuts & feel they're necessary; but honestly cutting out marketing items won't make a dent in our state's deficit.
    thank you for your insight,
    ronni sherman