ASI Names Top 10 Fastest-Growing Canadian Ad Specialty Companies

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Advertising Specialty Institute says 2012 distributor ad specialty sales in Canada rose to $1.56 billion.

“Although more companies are doing business in both the U.S. and Canada, to the clear benefit of our industry, the results of our annual ‘State of the Industry’ report confirm some fascinating regional differences,” said ASI CEO Tim Andrews.

Simplex Promotional Products topped the first-ever list of top 10 fastest-growing ad specialty companies in Canada, released today by the Advertising Specialty Institute® (ASI).

ASI also released Canadian highlights from Counselor® magazine’s upcoming “State of the Industry” report, showing 2012 distributor ad specialty sales rose to $1.56 billion, up from $1.48 billion in 2011, an increase of over 5%.

ASI released the top 10 list and highlights at its inaugural ASI Power Summit in Canada, held June 12-14 at the legendary Fairmont Banff Springs resort in Alberta. The Power Summit featured sessions on emerging markets and the latest business trends along with a keynote by Dr. Jack Mintz, director of the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary. Click here for more info and photos.

ASI celebrated the top 10 fastest-growing Canadian companies at the Power Summit Thursday. The list was determined by the percentage each company grew between 2010 and 2012. The top companies are:

1.    Simplex Promotional Products, 253%
2.    Stitchery and More, 249%
3.    Level 2 Sportswear, 130%
4.    BrandAlliance, 80%
5.    Brand Blvd Inc., 78%
6.    Vispak Inc., 67%
7.    Fairware Promotional Products Ltd., 65%
8.    Talbot Marketing, 63%
9.    Superex, 48%
10.    Akran Marketing, 15%

“We’re thrilled to recognize the fastest-growing ad specialty companies in Canada and can’t think of a more perfect setting to applaud their impressive growth than the inaugural ASI Power Summit in Banff,” said Timothy M. Andrews, president and chief executive officer of ASI. “Although more companies are doing business in both the U.S. and Canada, to the clear benefit of our industry, the results of our annual ‘State of the Industry’ report confirm some fascinating regional differences.”

Counselor’s 2013 “State of the Industry” distributors report – the most important and influential in the promotional products industry – analyzes key sales, marketing and operational metrics used every day by industry practitioners. The magazine’s annual “State of the Industry” comes out in July.

Canadian highlights include:

  •     Sales volume change by region: 63% of surveyed distributors in Canada, which did not suffer the same extreme recession as the U.S., reported strong growth in 2012, versus 58% in the U.S.
  •     Competitor threat: 24% of Canadian distributors surveyed cite “websites selling promotional products” as their top perceived competitor threat, versus 41% of distributors in the U.S.
  •     Sources of new business: While 81% of Canadian distributors cite referrals, followed by websites (35%) and cold calls (29%), organizational networks are used far more in the U.S. than Canada (33% vs. 17%), as is online social networking (14% vs. 9%).

The 2013 “State of the Industry” surveys were mailed to 13,300 distributor Counselor subscribers who are primary contacts for their company, and garnered a response rate of nearly 6%.

Logoed promotional products, aka ad specialties, freebies and giveaways, are used by companies and organizations to advertise their brand, publicize events and thank clients and employees.

For more information on the “State of the Industry” report, contact Larry Basinait, ASI’s executive director of research services, at lbasinait(at)asicentral(dot)com. For more info on ASI Canada, click here.

About ASI
The Advertising Specialty Institute ( is the largest media, marketing and education organization serving the promotional products industry, with a network of over 25,000 distributors and suppliers throughout North America.

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