PromoKitchen Podcast #136 | Paul Bellantone and Dale Denham


On this episode, Mark Graham (co-founder commonsku) down with Paul Bellantone (CEO, PPAI and Dale Denham (Chairman of the Board, PPAI) for a discussion about how PPAI advocates for our industry and promotes an environment of success for its members.

The impetus for this conversation was a Planet Money podcast, called Rigging the Economy. The episode looked at how some industries use regulation as a way to restrict new entrants in an effort to protect current members. The podcast looks specifically at the dental industry in North Carolina and how they tried to restrict teeth whitening clinics from operating without a dental license. So, in other words, if you were offering teeth whitening services in your local mall and were not a licensed dentist, the licensing board saw this as a crime.

Here’s an excerpt from the episode that frames things nicely and also creates a few parallels with the promotional products industry:

Teeth whitening is a fairly simple process. It doesn't require a lot of years of school. And people in North Carolina had started opening up these little teeth-whitening kiosks in malls and salons. They charge less than a licensed dentist and...

Dentists didn't like that competition. And so the licensing board for dentistry in North Carolina issued cease-and-desist orders to teeth-whitening clinics telling them to stop the unauthorized practice of dentistry.

We encourage you to listen to the entire episode to find out what happens, but for now this got us thinking about how our industry deals with new entrants. Some suppliers and distributors in our industry worry about lax qualifications to join our industry as this increases competition and potentially confuses end customers.

Are we like the dentists? Let’s find out.