Sunday, August 30, 2009

2010 Farmers' Almanac Unveiled

The 2010 Farmer's Almanac is out and the prediction for New England is average to normal temperatures -- that's the good news. But it's also calling for plenty of snow -- the bad (or good) news...depending on your point of view. The Midwest, meanwhile is going to get walloped.

Geiger, in addition to being one of the largest promotional product companies in the country, is also the publisher of the world famous Farmer's Almanac - the oldest continually published Almanac in the United States. It's been out every year since 1818, has been in the Geiger family since the mid 1930's, and the latest edition of America's most beloved publication was officially rolled out to the general public this week.

Peter Geiger, Philom, is the editor of the Almanac and over the next few days he, along with Managing Editor Sandi Duncan, will make the rounds to various media outlets, including network TV, to promote this year's edition.

Why am I mentioning this? Because the Almanac, in addition to being fun to read, is a great promotional item. People enjoy getting it. It tends to hang around because of both the forecasts and the great information inside. You get the front cover and the entire back cover for your ad - a ton of space -- and associating with the Farmers' Almanac ties your organization's name to a time tested brand with a national reputation for reliability and traditional values. It's also a great 'green' product because it focuses on sustainable living.

The retail version of the Almanac is available in places like Barnes & Noble and Walgreen's. And the promotional product version (basically the same thing but your ad is the only one in it) is available only through your organization.

The Almanac's annual publicity campaign promotes the Almanac itself, but it's also done to help our clients who use it promote their businesses.

If you would like a sample of the Farmers' Almanac or more information about how it can help your branding efforts, please contact me at If you have a few minutes, check out the links below.

Boston Herald Story

Video on the History of the Farmers' Almanac

AOL Story


Monday, August 24, 2009

Child Product Safety Part 2 - Case History

The new Child Safety guidelines that I detailed in my previous post went into effect August 14 and last week we at Geiger experienced our first case history. One of our reps in California has a client who runs a program where they hand out promotional items for children. One could easily conclude that the primary target audience was kids under age 13.

They had already committed to ordering imprinted kites and in fact had placed the order prior to the 14
th. When our representative became aware of the new guidelines (thanks to the recent heads up Geiger management sent our way), she checked with the supplier and found that they could not produce documentation verifying the safety of the product.

So she did some research and came up with this item as a suggested replacement: Click Here .

Notice the CSPC certificate link in the lower right hand corner? There's the supplier guarantee that these kites meet the newest CPSIA guidelines and are safe to hand out to children 12 and under.

The client went along with our rep's recommendation that they switch products, and all ended well. The original supplier understood the situation and agreed not to assess an order cancellation charge (and I assume is now in the process of getting their kite and similar products tested).

But I mention this as just an example of how we at Geiger are trying to stay on top of this and all other current issues affecting the promotional products industry and of course you as our clients.

It's part of what the slogan 'Geiger Gets It' is all about, and part of the added value you receive when you place your business with us.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Children's Product Safety Regulations Take Effect

This one has kind of flown under the radar, but some new safety regulations aimed at products for children ages 12 and under took effect this past Friday. While these were adopted to focus upon children's toys sold at retail, they also apply to promotional products aimed primarily at this same age group.

Labeling. As of August 14, the government has begun enforcing specific measures improve product safety as required by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA). Manufacturers now must include permanent tracking labels (no stickers allowed) on children’s products and their packaging so that the manufacturer, production date, and lot can be determined. Specifically, this applies to items primarily aimed at children 12 and under, toys, and child care articles.

Allowable Lead and Phthalate Content. Coming into effect on the same date were new lower limits for allowable lead content – 300 parts per million in substrate, 90 ppm in paint – in products for children, toys, and child care articles. These limits apply to new production, as well as products already in inventory. There are also limits on phthalates (a chemical used to make in plastics more pliable) and a myriad of other things that must be complied with.

We’ll Make Sure You’re Covered

We’ll Recommend The Right Products, And Give You Documentation. If you're using promotional products that are aimed at the children 12 and under age group, we’ll make sure the products you use are fully in compliance. Geiger and our core production partners are on top of these new regs and are taking them very seriously. Work with us on your promotional aims, and we will recommend products that have been tested to meet these requirements. We will also provide the testing documentation to back up our assurances, if you wish.

One Less Thing To Worry About. These regulations have come about, in part, because of a flood of stories about unsafe and unhealthy toys and children’s products. Indeed, we both want to be sure the products that carry your message are nothing but fun and memorable. Please know we are actively staying on top of the latest product safety regulations. Work with us, and this is one thing you won’t have to worry about.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

More Cool Stuff from Galleria

Here are a few more interesting items that I found at Geiger Galleria.

Dual Color Liquid Timer

I brought one of these back with me and it occupies a prominent place on my desk. If you're on the phone, you can't help but turn this item over and over. Two different color beads cascade down from top to bottom and it takes about
2 minutes to complete the cycle.
I think this is a TERRIFIC desk item. $5.00

3M Countour Series Tape Flag Pen
The 3M Flag Pen has been one of the top selling items in the promotional products industry over the past few years. This version of the item adds ergonomic styling and a comfort grip. It's available in pen, marker and highlighter versions and can be imprinted with up to 4 colors. I think this one is going to a huge seller in its own right. $3.40

Six Color Crayon Wheel -

This item won an award when it was recently introduced to our industry. Functions just like a traditional crayon except that it has a six colors and is both easy to grip and fun to use. Great for little hands plus it has a very generous imprint area. Also available with a yellow casing. $1.94

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cool Stuff From Galleria

Here are some interesting products that I found at our recent Geiger Galleria trade show. The show itself featured tables from over 200 promotional products suppliers -- pretty impressive to realize that they were all there just for us. Usually you can only find this large a collection of suppliers at the regional trade shows which are open to (and supported by) all industry companies.

That aside, the nice thing about midyear shows is you often see a fair amount of new products and this one was no exception. These items caught my attention:

Vacation Road Trip Mini Activity Book

Great gift item for families taking a long car ride. Pre-printed with Tic Tac Toe and Lines & Dots - 50 sheets worth. $1.99

Car Vent Stick

Fits in air vent of your vehicle as a non-obtrusive Air Freshener. Odor eliminating technology helps neutralize odors while the air freshener releases a pleasantly refreshing scent. $1.99

Medicine Bottle Opener
A great item for seniors. Provides improved leverage to open most medicine bottles. Just push down and twist. No squeezing necessary. $1.72

Samples of any of these items are available upon request. Just email me at