Advertising Specialty Sales Top $18.6 Billion in 2006 Up 4.5 Percent Versus 2005 and New Record

TREVOSE, PA – March 14, 2007 – Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI) released results of its annual advertising specialty industry sales analysis, indicating revenues topped $18.6 billion in 2006 – up 4.5 percent from 2005 and a new record.

Spending on advertising specialties was almost twice as large as Internet display advertising, nearly five times greater than outdoor advertising and more than cable TV advertising* for the same period and outpaced the 3.4% growth rate for the United States GDP.

The exclusive annual analysis, conducted by ASI, shows that growth in 2006 was driven by a healthy economy in North America and by increased interest from businesses in using advertising specialties as an alternative to other forms of advertising and as an integral part of their marketing campaigns. 

“The advertising specialty industry is extremely robust and as this analysis indicates, has set an unprecedented record of continued growth and increased sales for the last four years,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president of ASI. 

“ASI distributors and suppliers continue to tell me that items imprinted with a logo – embroidered shirts and caps, writing instruments, USB drives, drink ware, even flip-flops – leave a lasting impact in the minds of recipients,” Andrews continued.  “They have very reasonable costs-per-impression and provide a positive return on investment for marketers.”

Andrews also commented that the sales growth reflects, in part, the traditional ad specialty industry embracing new distributors, especially those from adjacent, complementary markets – such as printing and signs – that are seeking to expand their level of ad specialty sales. 

Many of these distributors have now qualified to become part of the ASI distributor network, allowing them to access some of the $1.3 million in educational opportunities ASI provides each year that make them more knowledgeable and giving them the chance to attend five ASI Shows.

Importantly, by helping these distributors join the industry, ASI reinforces to them the value of sourcing products through the 3,400 ASI suppliers in the network, helping to drive revenue for suppliers.

In 2006, the number of ASI distributors rose to 20,000, up six percent from the end of 2005, and the number of franchise members increased to more than 1,500.


The advertising specialty industry sales estimate from ASI is widely-acknowledged as the most accurate and most comprehensive estimate available, derived by a census of total advertising specialties sales from more than 20,000 ASI distributor members in North America. 

Distributor members of ASI represent approximately 95 percent of all sales volume in the advertising specialty industry and an estimated valid median dollar value was assigned to the remaining relative five percent that are not members of ASI. 


ASI distributors offered several reasons for the positive performance in 2006.

“2006 was a great year for Proforma, and we attribute that growth to the collective efforts of our owners and an increasing interest in our multimedia capabilities as well as online company stores,” said Greg Muzzillo, founder and co-CEO of Proforma Inc. (asi/300094).   “We have also seen an increase in sales as a result of relationships based on selling services versus commodities.  By providing a full spectrum of marketing resources, including printing, promotional products and e-solutions, Proforma has eliminated the need for customer interaction with multiple vendors.”

“American Identity enjoyed a sales increase of over $11 Million in 2006 – almost seven percent over 2005,” said Roger Henry, chief executive officer, American Identity (asi/120601).  “The extraordinary growth was due to the acquisition of new e-store customers and the growth of online sales to our e-store customers continues to increase at a double-digit rate.”

ASI suppliers found 2006 to be a record-breaking year.

“We posted our best year ever for the third year in a row,” said Jim O’Boyle, executive vice president of sales, Journalbooks (asi/91340).  “I believe the industry overall is currently very healthy and optimistic.”


Distributors are optimistic about 2007, but continue to watch several factors that are impacting the advertising specialty industry:

1)   Volatility of prices for natural resources used in manufacturing products, such as oil for plastics.
2) Availability of competitive information accessible via the Internet.
3)  Emergence of both India and China as more stable manufacturers of high-quality products.

ASI is closely monitoring these factors and other marketplace developments to keep industry distributors and suppliers informed through 14 of its print and electronic publications. 

In addition to its five annual nationwide trade shows, ASI launched The Advantages Roadshow, a traveling trade show that tours 60 cities across the country, providing opportunities for industry professionals to meet, network and conduct business

To learn more about the annual sales analysis and other ASI research, contact Larry Basinait, executive director of membership services and research at ASI, at 800-546-1350 or at [email protected].      

About ASI

Advertising Specialty Institute is the largest media and marketing organization serving the advertising specialty industry, with a membership of 23,000 distributor firms (sellers) and supplier firms (manufacturers) of advertising specialties.  Supplier firms use ASI print and electronic resources to market products to more than 20,000 ASI distributor firms.  Distributor firms use ASI print and electronic resources, which contain more than 750,000 ad specialties, to locate supplier firms and to market services to buyers.  ASI provides catalogs, informational directories, newsletters, magazines, websites and databases, and offers interactive e-commerce, marketing and selling tools.  Visit

*  Source:  TNS Media Intelligence is the leading provider of competitive advertising and marketing information – across brands, media, industries and markets.  Estimated 2006 spending for outdoor advertising $3.8 billion, Internet display ads $9.7 billion, cable TV ads $16.7 billion.