Design Resources, Gill Studios and Points of Light have applied to participate in the accreditation program developed by the Quality Certification Alliance, the promotional product industry’s only independent, not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping companies provide safe products.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (October 11, 2010) – McDonalds made headlines this summer with the recall of 12 million promotional glasses to support the movie Shrek Forever After due to cadmium health risks, and last month Chuck E. Cheese recalled 1.1 million light-up rings and 120,000 star eye glasses due to ingestion hazards. Unfortunately, these are not isolated incidents. In fact, not only does it appear that the number of recalls from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission are accelerating, but they are also becoming more public—doing more damage to corporate brands in the process.

End buyers are mandating that the promotional products they purchase are safe. As a result, distributors have become more selective in determining their preferred suppliers, and suppliers are proactively taking steps to implement compliance programs that deter and detect unsafe products.

Three more suppliers have begun taking this proactive step, joining the 11 applicants that are currently enrolled in the Quality Certification Alliance (QCA) Accreditation Program as well as the 14 companies that are QCA certified. The three new QCA applicants are:

  • Overland Park, Kansas-based Design Resources, Inc.
  • Lenexa, Kansas-based Gill Studios, Inc.
  • Fairfield, New Jersey-based Points of Light

“Product safety is critically important to the industry because when one company has an issue, it reflects poorly on us all,” said Paul Lage, Gill Studios CEO. “We cannot afford to have end buyers questioning the use of promotional products if there is a perception of risk, and QCA provides the needed framework for compliance and communication.”

Brent Stone, QCA executive director – operations, said, “We are particularly pleased that these companies are becoming part of QCA, as they represent new category offerings for end buyers. These new applicants bring the total number of QCA Accredited companies plus new applicants to 28 companies. We are now actively working with the QCA Distributor Advocacy Group to not only more effectively communicate the safe product and compliance message to corporate America but also educate suppliers, distributors and buyers on the state and federal requirements as well as ways they can apply compliance within their business strategies.”

LeeAnn Schumacher, director of strategic sourcing and merchandising, for Itasca, Illinois-based Summit Marketing Group and member of the QCA Distributor Advocacy Group believes the QCA Accreditation Program is exactly what the industry needs to secure sources of supply that are unsurpassed in their quality of products and services.

“At Summit, we recognize that our success is based on the quality of our relationships with our customers, employees, suppliers and communities. As such, we strive to be a socially responsible company and know that the trust our customers have in us is not to be taken lightly,” she said. “We work hard to see that the goods we sell are made in compliance with applicable laws, and we seek supplier partners who share our commitment to quality products and business principles. As part of our Key Supplier Program in 2011, Summit will encourage suppliers to consider QCA as a compliance solution if they are not already accredited within the marketplace.”

For more information about QCA accreditation and to inquire about the process and benefits received, e-mail brent@qcalliance.org.

About QCA:
Chicago, Illinois-based Quality Certification Alliance is an independent, accreditation organization whose mission is to elevate the standards by which industry firms that import and/or manufacture promotional products provide consistently safe, high-quality, socially compliant and environmentally conscientious merchandise. QCA Accreditation is granted to companies who complete an independent third-party audit and comply with stringent standards, which are based upon a combination of state and national laws, international standards and industry-accepted best practices that are recognized for their strength and effectiveness by QCA Accredited companies, the promotional products industry and end-user clients.

QCA was formed in July 2008, and today 14 companies have meet the rigorous qualifications to achieve QCA Accreditation—Avaline, Barton Nelson, Inc.; BDA Inc.; Broder Bros.; Bullet Line LLC; Dard Products, Inc.; Fanda Enterprises, Inc. dba PromoFactory; Gemline; Gordon Sinclair; Leed’s; Logomark, Inc.; MMI; Prime Resources Corp.; and Sweda Company LLC—with 14 others soon to complete the process.

In July 2010, the QCA Distributor Advocacy Group was created to formalize the relationship the organization has with distributors who understand the value compliance programs have in building stronger relationships with suppliers, creating competitive advantage in the marketplace and building loyalty with their end-buyer clients. In is currently comprised of 14 companies, which represent more than $850 million in annual promotional products sales.

D E (Denise) Fenton serves as executive director – compliance, and Brent Stone serves as executive director – operations.

For more information, visit www.qcalliance.org.


Media Contact:
Lisa Horn, CAS

Company Contact:
Brent Stone