The Petrie Dish

Every week there are articles published that are of interest to promotional products industry professionals across the land. To save you time, I have culled the internet for the ones you should read and the ones you should skip.

American Apparel Founder Dov Charney is Back with a New T-Shirt Business He Says is Already Worth $30 Million – “Must Read” Article of the Week

He’s back! When Dov Charney was forced out of the company he founded, American Apparel, in 2014, it was inevitable that he would return. Well, it didn’t take long for him to round up a few buddies from American Apparel and start over. While he won’t share the name of his new brand, he claims to already be shipping wholesale orders to people who know him personally. Taking a page out of American Apparel, his new venture will be based in a gritty part of Los Angeles and will be built around “rapid reaction” and “dynamic supply.” This will be very interesting to watch over the next few months, but it would be unwise to count out Mr. Charney. Warning: some of the pictures show him wearing distractingly enormous glasses which tends to make him look like more of a cartoon character than many already make him out to be.

Nike Spells ‘Arkansas’ Wrong on Football Jersey

While Arkansas may not be a top-tier SEC football team like Alabama or Texas A&M, they are still in the SEC and deserve to have correct jerseys. During their game against the pesky TCU Horned Frogs (I love college mascot names), Arkansas running back T.J. Hammonds’ jersey showed that he played for “Akransas.” When something like this happens, Twitter is especially delicious as witnessed by this tweet from Deadspin: “Nike is out there inventing new states.”

Are Tote Bags Really Good for the Environment?

This is a really interesting article that dissects the movement away from disposable plastic grocery bags to reusable, eco-friendly bags. By digging very deep into the issues, it challenges the conventional thinking of the reader and goes so far as to say that “their abundance encourages consumers to see them as disposable, defeating their very purpose.” I love it when a well-written piece forces me to think about things I feel like I already know. This article does exactly that.

Merchandise Campaigns: When Returns on Your Gifts Really Matter

This was close to being my “must read” for the week as this article hits the nail on the proverbial head regarding ROI on promotional products. Written from the perspective of three things that must be done to ensure that high return on investment, the author is brutally honest in sharing that poor merchandise won’t do your brand any favors. The best line in the piece is, “Every product with a logo works as a silent brand ambassador, which is something that brand managers often tend to forget.”

Germantown Alderman Rocky Janda Says He’ll Stop Selling Products to the City – “Don’t Waste Your Time Reading” Article of the Week


Due to a “potential” conflict of interest, this local government official has decided to stop selling promotional products to the city where he serves as alderman. While he believes that the transactions benefited the city by keeping prices low and claims he didn’t receive any personal benefit from them, the city attorney suggested that it was best he stop selling promotional merchandise to the city. Of course it looks like corruption when an elected official sells goods from his private company to the government he serves – did Mr. Janda REALLY need a city attorney to inform him of this? Given the fact that the alderman spends quite a bit of time alternately justifying and apologizing for the sales, he is just as clueless as most politicians.