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5 Steps to Avoiding Product Recalls on Your Promotional Products

November 8th, 2012 No comments

Be Sure Your Promotional Products are CPSIA Complaint to Avoid Recalls and Legal Issues

Tips to prevent product recall on promotional productsAustin, Texas: Although it seems like the  promotional products budgets seems to have increased for the majority of firms this past year as the economy picks up, the number of lawsuits have also increased.

Promotional products made overseas for large retail companies have been getting recalled at an alarming pace for lead content – either in the product or on the embellishments or imprint inks. This list includes shirts, water bottles, magnetic items –to name a few.

These companies should have known better as these recalls were easily avoidable with a little due diligence.

However, what is a smaller company to do to navigate the safety waters and to avoid product recalls and bad publicity for the promotional products.

Here are some tips to consider when ordering promotional products safely:

1) Learn the Law. Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) aimed at protecting children 12 years of age and under from all products containing lead and phthalates.

2) Try to determine if your promotional product is for children or for general use.  This is a judgment that a court might determine–not for you to decide for the court.     Some obvious things to consider:

  1. a- Is it a game or a toy?
  2. b-Is it brightly colored?
  3. c-Does it have a licensed character on it?  Even if it is an adult XXL men’s sweatshirt, if it has a cartoon character or licenced character on it – it might very well be construed as a child’s item.
  4. d- Does it appeal to a child 12 years or under?

3) Get proper testing and certification. If you will be importing your promotional products, it pays t spend a few hundred dollars getting third party certification.  The company that you purchase these items should know how to get this done.

If you are ordering off-the-shelf stock promotional items, ask for the certification certificate for that item.

4) Vet your Promotional Products Distributor. Work with a promotional products distributor that has experience in compliance and carefully vets his suppliers for product safety and social compliance.   We make sure everybody has taken classes on CPSIA compliance and has a firm knowledge in the law and its ramifications.

5) Err on the side of safety and caution. When in doubt, redesign the product so that it cannot be misconstrued as a child’s item — or get the certification that is required just to be on the safe side.

Promotional products can be a great way to market your brand and to reach a targeted audience.  It has one of the lowest cost per thousand impressions of any form of advertising out there.

Just cross your T’s and dot your I’s – and work only with a promotional products company that understands CPSIA to avoid any unplanned issues.

Here’s to a successful promotional event.
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Robert Piller, President of Eco Marketing Solutions, has over 28 years of experience in running and implementing green marketing campaigns and is a leader in the recycled promotional products industry, including offering one of the largest selections of reusable and organic tote bags, recycled and biodegradable water bottles, recycled pens and pencils in the country.

In addition to being a noted writer on issues of social and safety compliance, Robert Piller recently completed his CAS degree — one of the highest honors in the promotional products industry for his years of continuous education and certification.

His company’s website, EcoMarketingSolutions.com, features over 25,000 eco-friendly promotional items in all price ranges, for any business or organization interested in going green. The site’s handy search tool helps you easily find biodegradable, organic and recycled imprinted promotional items in your price range and time frame.

You can also reach him by email (robert (at) ecomarketingsolutions.com) or comment on his blog postings at GreenSpotBlog.com or below at his Twitter link.

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