ASI Updates: Latest resources, news and some encouraging signs

TREVOSE, PA – April 14, 2020 –

It’s been about a month since many of us started working from home, confronted with dramatic shifts to our business models and previously unheard-of terms like PPE, PPP and the CARES Act becoming top of mind. At no other time in history have we been so far apart from family, friends and colleagues. And yet, in so many wonderful ways, we’re closer than ever before, united against a common, unseen foe.

Today, I want to share some industry news and ASI updates, along with a few positive developments. The video at top is from a recent Facebook Livestream, with a recap of what I discussed below, along with numerous, constantly updated ASI resources.

Most important, I want to share my hope that everyone is healthy and following guidelines to stay that way.

Every day, I speak to or video chat with someone in our industry who shares the story of what’s happening to a business they built into a success after years of hard work – before the whole world put out a “closed” sign. Along with the heartbreak, I leave these talks feeling so much pride in the many ways suppliers and distributors, faced with worst possible economic crisis in our lifetime, are demonstrating their entrepreneurial spirit and knowhow, pivoting to completely new products, serving new clients and reimaging everything. 

Today, we’re more flexible, nimble and in sync with the latest technologies than we were a mere four weeks ago. That flexibility will serve us well in coming months as the recovery gets underway. As ASI reported this week, public health experts say the COVID-19 peak is nearing and certain shutdown/social distancing practices in some areas of the U.S. could be considered for lifting by May.

Amid the uncertainty, there’s one thing I know for sure: We’re all in this together – and we WILL emerge from this, with each other’s help, as an industry united, with resolve forged in a catastrophe none of us could have anticipated but all of us are determined to beat.

Please continue to take care and stay safe. And please keep sharing your thoughts, ideas, industry updates and success stories. I can always be reached at [email protected].

With warm wishes for your health and our shared recovery,

Industry updates and highlights:

  • ASI’s just-released Q1 quarterly sales report: The promo industry enjoyed strong sales January through mid-March, but Q1 sales totals were down nearly 5%. Disastrous sales in the last two weeks of the quarter led to the first year-over-year quarterly decline in promo in more than a decade.
  • ASI’s ESP top searches: Searches in March alone for N95 masks skyrocketed 5,000%, with additional most-searched PPE-related keywords including hand sanitizer, face mask, bandana and neck gaiter.
  • What else can distributors sell? While ESP searches overall are down, distributors generated 12% more searches last Thursday over the previous Thursday, an indication they’re serving clients and looking for ways to generate revenue. In addition to PPE items, they’re searching for stay-at-home products like puzzles, beer growlers,  kids’ paint, bags for delivery companies like GrubHub, thank you gift bags to home-based employees and clients and items related to grocery stores, takeout restaurants and other essential businesses.
  • Positive e-commerce signs for distributors: Orders placed via ESP Websites have increased by 15% over the same time last year and 13% over the previous 30-day period.

News-you-can-use from ASI editorial:

Four ASI industry webinars:

Free online ASI resources:

New education videos and webinars available for ASI members on

ASI will add more sessions in the coming weeks, so visit for the latest content.

A bit of encouragement:

Wise words from ASI Chairman Norman Cohn

Tim Andrews
President & Chief Executive Officer
Advertising Specialty Institute | Every Step of the Way™

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (215) 953-3550