You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!


Ah, the holidays - You'll probably spend your day watching 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS or dealing with a relative saying or doing something that offends another? There is a long list of topics that should be avoided in every family- politics, religion, marital status, pending family status, career moves and so forth. To avoid holiday drama many families caution one another on topics to avoid prior to family gatherings.


In our industry there are important topics that are often avoided, such as product safety. Let’s face it, talking about safety is so technical that most of us avoid the topic all together. Like that relative that makes a remark that makes you wince, compliance is smart business and consumer protection is critical to your brand. What types of safety should you be considered about in branding products? One request frequently made by our clients, “will you make sure our water bottles are BPA free”. No worries, because our industry is making sure not only is your bottle BPA free but testing for over 950 other chemicals before we stock shelves with products. The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, often referred to as Cal Prop 65, is a California law intended to protect the State’s residents and drinking water sources from toxic chemicals and to inform its citizens about exposure to them.


For example, CBS News featured a story this past week about a children’s toy that seemed similar but had some hazardous differences. Fortunately for us, our global industry partners PPAI & ASI, monitor and have an open dialogue with trade associations, such as the Toy Industry Association, and the legislators who regulate chemicals who require stringent testing for toys and tracking labels from the factories. Our industry also provides us white papers and webinars outlining product safety guidelines, regulations and keeps us up-to-date on safety related issues. Internally we have a safety expert. Owner, Keith Scott spent over 20 years in the environmental testing industry as a scientist. All the jargon and technical aspects of safety that would confuse the average consumer make sense to him. Keith can drill down the specifics we need to know from our industry’s data.


Given that this is a holiday week, there will likely be plenty of toys distributed around the USA and product safety is important to those distributions. Your brand depends on an assurance that products you select for decoration comply with environmental, social and product safety requirements and standards. Internally we vet our partners to make sure the products they offer meet ever changing regulations. Our supplier partners can provide paperwork that outlines the testing, production control, product materials used, as well as outlining the ethical standards expected for the workforce in their factories. The next time you purchase blankets, apparel, toys or promotional items such as drinkware, be assured we partner with companies that adhere to ethical practices but delve deep into consumer safety to insure your brand is protected.


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