PPAI Product Responsibility Summit Tackles Corporate Social Responsibility
The world can be a dangerous place—but the promotional products industry remains determined to ensure it provides safe and responsible products. After attending the PPAI Product Responsibility Summit—the Promotional Products Association International’s (PPAI) single largest education event—Sept. 28 to 30, in Bethesda, Md., we know the future of the industry is in good hands.
“I continue to be impressed with the level of support we receive for [the] Product Responsibility Summit, so I know we are filling a void for accurate, reliable and actionable information on product responsibility, safety and compliance,” said Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of Irving, Texas-based PPAI. “The first day of this year's event highlighted our growing collaboration with the CPSC and their support for PPAI's efforts to create a culture of commitment and confidence around these important issues. With nearly 200 in attendance, representing large and small companies in every membership category, [the] Product Responsibility Summit represents the best of what trade associations can deliver to their members, the industry and ultimately the consumers that use our products.”
A full schedule of educational programming, including lab tours of the nearby U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), kicked off the three-day event. The following morning brought the nearly 200 suppliers and distributors together for a full slate of presentations—beginning with industry regulations, rules and a piggy “squirter” stress reliever (an example of how the advertising of a product can influence whether a product is seen as a toy—and which regulations apply).
From there, discussions shifted to an introduction of the voluntary standards system via case studies of power banks and laundry pods. Focus then turned to how to best prevent, prepare for and deal with a product recall as we listened to the real-world experiences of two companies that had to learn these lessons the hard way. To finish the day, the floor opened for a moderated discussion among all attendees on best practices—from how best to vet partners and monitor production facilities, to the importance of both supplier and distributor communication and education—of product responsibility.
Allison Ebner is content editor for Promo Marketing, NonProfit PRO and Print+Promo. Reference any animated movie, "Harry Potter" character or '80s band and you'll become fast friends.