A recent survey by the ASI asked respondents to provide them with up to three promotional products they had received in the last 12 months. Promotional gifts were defined as items that included pens, mugs, calendars, t-shirts or indeed any items that featured a message or logo imprinted on them. Branded products are more often than not handed out free of charge to potential clients in a bid to influence their buying habits or the impression they may have in relation to any particular company or organisation.

As the chart below reveals, writing instruments were most commonly cited, as one-half (50%) of promotional product recipients in the 12 cities in the U.S. reported getting at least one in the prior 12 months, similar to the 52% that reported getting them in Sydney. There are also significant differences in cities in other countries, such as 53% of study respondents in Rome who received a shirt, higher than any other metro area, or 66% that had writing instruments in Philadelphia.