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86 OPINION THE KEYCHAIN ... The focus should now be on the European Football Championship but the vast number of elections brings me to the subject of politics. Parties are not only vying for the support of the voter with populist slogans and promises. They are also acting as companies with a multitude of marketing specialists. And they like advertising with promotional products. Parties are active promotional product distributors. The departments are not exactly tiny. One of the smaller parties in Austria alone has five employees. The number of products on offer is large, as are the distribution channels. Print catalogues, party conventions, events, e-shops, just to name a few. Similar examples can be found in all EU countries. Whether it be the Labour Party in Britain or the CDU in Germany. They are all professional promo- tional product distributors. Business worth millions! The products include all categories. The keychain in the shape of a country, the party flag, custom-made items, even toys are offered. Where are these products sourced? Have the products been sustainably produced? Hardly any answers are given to these questions. It thus seems reasonable to assume that a number of promotional products are imported directly without actually involving the promotional product industry because there is no evidence of any distributors. Klaus Stöttner, a member of the Bavarian State Parliament, gave our industry a piece of advice a long time ago: “The promotional product industry needs to be louder.” The parties apparently are. This raises the question: Why do the parties have little »It seems reasonable to assume that a number of promotional products are imported directly without actually involving the promotional product industry.« PSI Journal 6/2016 www.psi-network.de understanding for the industry despite being active promotional product distributors themselves? Why are they politically restrictive toward the industry? Perhaps because they have not yet understood that they themselves are affected. We should hold a mirror up to them. Best regards, Michael Freter Publisher of PSI Journal Managing Director PSI michael.freter@psi-network.de

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