After a fast and furious response by the US printing industry, Toshiba has decided not to go ahead with its marketing campaign centered on 'National No Print Day' this Autumn.
In a letter to its members, Printing Industry of America (PIA) president Michael Makin announced: "Toshiba has agreed to abort its National No Print Day!"
Makin's letter went on to describe his conversation with Toshiba USA senior vice president of marketing, services and solutions, Bill Melo, regarding Toshiba's "ill-conceived initiative".
In it Makin states: "Mr. Melo was quite 'concerned' with how the campaign had been received by the commercial printing industry and stressed it was never the intent of his company to disenfranchise or insult our industry. He explained that the campaign was always directed at the office marketplace where he opined there was needless waste."
Makin added that Melo did commit to going back to the drawing board and gave assurances that the promotion on Toshiba's website would be removed and that any re-launch of a campaign directed at office waste would explicitly state that this in no way references the legitimate commercial printing industry and its importance to the American economy.
"I thanked Mr. Melo for his swift response to our concerns but cautioned that any follow-up campaign containing misleading statements regarding paper would be subject to similar scrutiny, particularly from the paper industry," Makin said. "He indicated he would be making an outreach to this sector as well."
The Toshiba marketing campaign has also triggered the ire of the National Association of Printing Leadership (NAPL), whose president and chief executive Joseph Truncale, said: "Toshiba may have meant well when it attempted to publicize its 'print leaner and greener' initiative with a National No-Print Day campaign, but it was well off base when it pointed a finger at print as an anti-tree medium. Despite this all-too-often repeated anti-print 'save a tree' refrain, print and paper are simply not enemies of the environment."
Truncale also stressed the paper and printing industries commitment to sustainability.
"Everyone in the printing industry has the same interest as Toshiba in making our processes as environmentally friendly as possible, and we have all been working toward that goal for decades," he said.
"Witness, for example, the growth of forest-certification and chain-of-custody programs, the new technologies that increase the paper yield per trees—in some cases, 90,000 sheets from a single cord of wood, and the use of renewable biomass fuels to power paper manufacturing—since 1990, purchased energy and fossil fuel use per ton of paper production has been cut by 26%."
In an interview with PrintWeek, PIA’s Makin suggested Toshiba quick decision to end its National No Print Day plans shows the continued clout commercial printing still has in the US.
"I am confident this will send a strong message to corporate America that the US printing industry is a vital contributor to the economy and is entirely conscientious in terms of its environmental practices," he added.
"The fact that 800,000 men and women owe their livelihood to the industry speaks for itself. These individuals are consumers, as Toshiba quickly recognized."
This also may be a sign the US commercial printing may be regaining a bit of its swagger despite the challenges of electronic communications. "The industry is stabilizing after a number of difficult years and profitability is at its highest level in more than three years," Makin said.Tweet
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