Promotional items

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Classic promotional item: lighters
Promotional pen and notepad.
Pocket calculator Rheinische Post.jpg
Pocket calculator WGZ Bank.jpg

Pocket calculator as a promotional item
Bader hand mirror in front.jpg
Hand mirror Bader rear.jpg

Hand mirror as a promotional item 50 years of the Bader catalog

A promotional item or promotional gift is an advertising medium that companies give away to customers and interested parties for advertising purposes . Popular classic promotional items are calendars , pens and lighters . The market ranges from inexpensive giveaways and gimmicks to high-quality branded items.


A claim or logo is usually applied to promotional items . The type of application depends on the budget and printing material. Production typically takes between one month for classic promotional gifts and 3–4 months for custom-made items made in Asia (e.g. plush toys)

The individual production of promotional items that do justice to corporate identity / corporate design (CI / CD) - often conceived, designed and produced by promotional agencies for special campaigns - is an important business area for corresponding suppliers and creative agencies.


In the B2B sector, promotional items are usually distributed via specialized promotional item dealers. The dealers order, produce and / or assemble the articles in large volumes and then distribute them to their business customers. Some promotional products dealers have specialized in certain product segments, for example writing, decorative or electronic promotional products.

An order boom can often be seen at major international events, such as B. at the soccer World Cup 2014 in Brazil.

Advertising effect

Industry, trade and commerce use promotional items for customer acquisition and customer loyalty .

When assessing the impact of advertising, it is important to find measurable criteria. Example: Someone comes into conversation with more interested parties at the trade fair stand because they have a smart promotional item. Too often, however, advertising success is not that easy to measure. There are methodologically questionable studies by promotional product suppliers on this topic. Research is being carried out on the subject of promotional items at universities with a marketing focus. B. at the Hochschule der Medien .

According to a study by the University of Augsburg, there are two types of promotional gifts that have a proven effect on customers and can even have a positive effect on the advertiser's turnover. On the one hand, there are business gifts that contain a financial advantage, for example vouchers. On the other hand, there are gifts that have no direct reference to the company that distributes the promotional gifts. Related gifts convey selfishness and economic interest, which is a deterrent for the recipients.

Promotional items are part of a company's merchandising .

Tax aspects

The tax deductibility limit for promotional items is (as of 2006) 35 euros per year and recipient for the net purchase price of the item and, if applicable, plus advertising imprint and packaging, but without any shipping and packaging costs. This net limit only applies to persons and companies who are entitled to input tax deduction. On the other hand, a doctor or insurance agent who sells promotional items in the high-quality segment, because they are not entitled to input tax deduction, has to calculate the 35 euro gross limit. Higher value promotional items cannot be billed as business expenses due to the upper limits . The accounting department must list promotional item recipients by name in order to enable the 35 euro limit to be checked. This rule does not apply to goods of very low value, such as classic giveaways. Promotional items that are offered as a bonus are not affected by the 35 euro limit. An example of this would be a wheat beer glass set as a product addition to the beer crate. In other countries, such as Switzerland, there are no such deduction limits.