28-06-2011

Industry reacts as Mr President refers to print as ‘Pointless waste’

Author: Lucy O’Dea

Call me cynical, but I was rather bemused to read that having just attacked the printing of the US Federal Register as “a stack of expensive doorstops” and “stupid spending” that “doesn’t benefit anybody”, President Obama, the leader of the free world had also launched his ‘Obama for America 2012’ re-election website, offering a host of campaign paraphernalia for purchase, and dare I say printed paraphernalia at that!

Author: Lucy O'Dea

Image source Flikr Creative Commons Attribution Some rights reserved by dcJohn

Call me cynical, but I was rather bemused to read that having just attacked the printing of the US Federal Register as “a stack of expensive doorstops” and “stupid spending” that “doesn’t benefit anybody”, President Obama, the leader of the free world had also launched his ‘Obama for America 2012’ re-election website, offering a host of campaign paraphernalia for purchase, and dare I say printed paraphernalia at that!

If you click into this website further http://store.barackobama.com/packs.html, you find all the marketing material that you can purchase. Cheap at half the price, you can pick up a supporters pack containing printed stickers & badges, printed tickets, printed place cards and printed postcards for $25. And, for just $65, you could go the whole hog and secure yourself and your friends a ‘party pack’. I wonder if Mr O sees these printed items as ‘stupid spending’? but, I have no doubt he knows who will benefit!

Hands up therefore to Michael Makin, the president and CEO of the Printing Industries of America (PIA), for sending a letter of complaint to the White House to address the potential repercussions that the President’s view could have on the US Printing Industry. According to the letter, Makin wrote, “….it’s important for printers to stand together and deliver a strong, coherent message about the viability and effectiveness of print. We encourage printers to stand up for their industry and communicate to their members of Congress that print is more than an ‘expensive doorstop’ and is vital to our economy…..”

Within the US manufacturing sector, the Printing Industry ranks second in the number of companies and is placed at number 9 in the value of shipments…..so surely, Mr President should not be quite so dismissive.

It seems that the UK Government has also committed to driving out waste, and although they have yet to name specifics, or indeed directly attack print, watch out David and Nick. Rest assured that UK print plc won’t take any such attack lying down.