Business awards: AdGiftsOnline helps clients to make a lasting impression


Sentinel BusinessAwards

FOR companies looking to make their mark, AdGiftsOnline has the answer.

In fact, it has hundreds. From thermal mugs to stationery, sweets to wet wipes and brollies to bags, it is brimming with ideas of ways to promote businesses.

After pulling out all the stops to stay afloat when clients cut back during the recession, the tenacity of husband and wife team Tony and Stephenie Altham is now paying off.

Last year the company experienced a 60 per cent growth in sales, and turnover is continuing to rise this year. By the end of March, AdGiftsOnline, which is based in Newcastle, expects to double its revenue over those two years.

Managing director Tony said: “During the recession, spending on promotional items was one of the first things to go for a lot of companies, although others took the view they should increase their marketing at a time when their competitors had cut back.

“But at the moment there is a dramatic upturn, and the items which we are selling are changing too.

“We do about £500,000 of food and drink promotional items every year.

“Confectionery has proved very strong and we are now buying directly from the manufacturers, rather than third party suppliers.

“We’re also seeing a lot more workwear and corporate clothing orders and power banks, which allow you to charge your smartphone, tablet, camera and any other 5V USB-powered device wherever you are, can also be personalised and then given away as corporate gifts.

“Useful items are the ones that stick around, and industry research shows that these items, such as the things you have on your desk, are the best sellers.

“We are finding the stylus pens, which allow you to write on to your tablet, are selling more than your usual pens now.

“But we do a huge mix of things now. We’ve even done towels for one customer. It’s all driving our growth.”

And Tony and Steph’s decision to keep the faith and steer the business through the most straitened times means it is now in a position where it can invest in its own assets.

The team of seven has undergone a range of training courses, including first aid, with three employees currently studying for an NVQ.

Online marketing techniques have also proved successful, and now the company is preparing to recruit another apprentice. Future plans also include an upgrade of the IT infrastructure and phone systems.

It is entering The Sentinel Business Awards in the Growth category, sponsored by Dains.

This year, AdGiftsOnline staged PromoExpo, its first trade fair to showcase the power of promotional products and how they can support the development of a brand.

Tony added: “That event was a big success and we are already planning next year’s, with ideas to make it even bigger and better.

“We plan to have a business event running alongside it and invite organisations from the community to have stands there as well. During the worst times we lost three big customers worth £250,000, and while we managed to pull back in £210,000 of business, the margins were slashed and the sales conversion rate of one in three was slashed to one in 10.

“But we made the decision to stick with it and not make anyone redundant, and it was all worth it.

“Now we are in the process of launching a client merchandise sales package, where we run the whole thing from putting the merchandise together, running the website, to stock control and delivery.

“It’s a big expansion for us and we’re pleased with how it’s going.

“Eventually it will lead to more jobs, and we hope that over the next three years we will double in size to about 15 of us.”





_MG_8802Staffordshire based promotional merchandise distributor AdGiftsOnline Limited has won one of the top awards in the Business Boost 2014 competition.

The company took the prize for their outstanding contribution to the Borough of Newcastle-Under-Lyme and the people and business community within it.

The Business Boost Awards recognise not only the contributions that businesses within the area have made during the last 12 months but also work to support the future growth plans of the winners.

AdGiftsOnline Limited will be using the £1000 prize money towards their ISO 9001 and 14001 Accreditation and quality systems and procedures.


Managing Director, Tony Altham said, “We are delighted to have won the 2014 Business Boost Award and it is great recognition of the work put in by our colleagues to  achieve 60% sales growth last year and to put us 20% up on our sales during the current year so far.

We believe it is important for us to be ‘good neighbours’ and to play an active and supportive role in our community but to have this recognised with the Business Boost Award is wonderful. The money will help AdGiftsOnline and our team to bring forward our quality assurance plans which in turn will enable us to grow the business further and create more local jobs.”

Promoting Your Business the ECO Way with World Elephant Day


AdGiftsOnline are proud supporters of World Elephant Day.

Up until 12th September 2014, for each order placed for our ECO-FRIENDLY Ellie Poo products through us – BORN FREE will provide a baby elephant with 280 pints of milk.
Milk ElephantWhat are Ellie Poo products?

These are a range of cover and wiro bound pads using ‘Ellie Poo’ card and recycled paper.

100% recycled Ellie Poo board is made with post consumer waste which has been collected from schools, colleges and offices around the UK. It is then mixed with elephant dung to produce the unique and very unusual Ellie Poo board. Contains no bleaches or detergents. Made within the UK.

Why do we supply elephant dung board? Elephants are used as working animals around the world and after their usefulness has ended due to injury or old age, they become a burden and are discarded.  Through the Ellie Poo range we support the Millennium Foundation in Sri Lanka who then look after these elephants.

Ellie PooAn unusual promotional product like this has several benefits which include being socially responsible, making your company memorable and making an impact.

To see our range of Ellie Poo pads, simply click here.

Just what is World Elephant Day?

On August 12, 2012, the inaugural World Elephant Day was launched to bring attention to the urgent plight of Asian and African elephants. The elephant is loved, revered and respected by people and cultures around the world, yet we balance on the brink of seeing the last of this magnificent creature.

The escalation of poaching, habitat loss, human-elephant conflict and mistreatment in captivity are just some of the threats to both African and Asian elephants. Working towards better protection for wild elephants, improving enforcement policies to prevent the illegal poaching and trade of ivory, conserving elephant habitats, better treatment for captive elephants and, when appropriate, reintroducing captive elephants into natural, protected sanctuaries are the goals that numerous elephant conservation organizations are focusing on around the world.

World Elephant Day asks you to experience elephants in non-exploitive and sustainable environments where elephants can thrive under care and protection. On World Elephant Day, August 12, express your concern, share your knowledge and support solutions for the better care of captive and wild elephants alike.

World Elephant Day 2014

For more green products and merchandising solutions please call us on 01782 571 950 or email us at

Be Positive with Promotional Items!



Promotional gifts are a return on investment.

A simple and promotional gift to your (potential) client can brighten their day. It also acts as  a constant advertisement for your business for the whole period that the recipient keeps the product.

Giving something to your client instead of just taking creates goodwill and a positive attitude towards your firm.  Just consider the Law of Reciprocity; positive actions should receive positive actions back. That pen you just gave your prospect could eventually become a business transaction etc etc etc…

You can even boost the morale of your own workers by giving them their very own promotional gifts.

We can help you with your promotional merchandise, just give us a bell on 01782 651 950 or email us on

Snap those awkward shots with the SELFY!


AdGiftsOnline are pleased to welcome you the brand new and innovative SELFY.

sheet selfi

The SELFY is a remote control for the camera on your smartphone and tablets which allows you to take those shots from afar. Here are 5 Reasons to use the SELFY Smartphone Camera Remote Control as a promotional product:

1. When using the SELFY – you attract the attention of others.

It’s human nature to be curious – so imagine how much attention you could attract just by taking a group shot with the help of a SELFY. Not only will you be the focal point to the onlookers, but for the people who are also involved in the photo!

2. The SELFY can be installed and used with minimum effort. This fantastic little gadget comes with it’s own software, in the form of an app. Simply download the app and get going! 3. Everyone who sees the SELFY will want one! Who wouldn’t? It’s the idea that comes with the new generation of technology and with your branding on it – you will be constantly remembered.

4. The SELFY is a quirky product and could be more popular than a USB stick.

In several polls, USB’s have lead the way as most popular promotional product – but during test marketing, results showed that people liked the SELFY the most.

5. The SELFY is an innovative and useful product!

Nobody wants a novelty that they can not use. The most popular promotional items include office stationary, such as notebooks, pens, mugs and USB sticks. Giving someone a SELFY will certainly make a big impact immediately as well as in the future.

We can help you and your company make an impression with this funky new gadget, just get in touch on 01782 571 590 or to let us help you best.

Stoke-on-Trent’s first Promo Expo deemed a success


AN EDUCATION and training service has won a package of prizes aimed at boosting its profile.

Stepping Stones Education and Training, in Newcastle, triumphed in a competition run as part of the first Promo Expo, at the Britannia Stadium.

The event, organised by Tony Altham, managing director of AdGiftsOnline, attracted almost 200 people and showcased hundreds of promotional items and businesses based in the region.

The business support package prize won by Stepping Stones is worth £4,000.

Mr Altham said: “I’m delighted with how this first event went, and that this prize will help support a local company with the growth and development of their business.

“AdGiftsOnline will be providing promotional advice and guidance, as well as £1,000 of branded promotional merchandise for managing director Annetta Talbot and her colleagues.”

Mr Altham said the Promo Expo was a big success.

“We have received fantastic feedback and comments from visitors and exhibitors alike,” he added.

Source | The Sentinel

Sit back and relax with these Giant Promotional Deck Chairs…


It’s official! The sunny season is here and so is your perfect opportunity to get your branding out there at festivals and corporate events.

You probably haven’t considered it in the past, but think about it, how striking would your logo look on a giant 2-person deck chair?

Something like this maybe…?


These chairs will attract anybody’s eye and with a huge branding area, can be quite influential and enhance your company’s reputation.

A chair of such size is bound to attract people to take a seat and have their picture taken – your branding will permanently in the back of those summer snaps!

In a recent study, 95% of people who use the chair take a photo and many of these images get uploaded to Social Media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, sharing your chair with the whole of their social network.


We at AdGiftsOnline can help you and your company get the reach you deserve at events, festivals, sponsorships and product launches with these unique and exclusive giant chairs, just call us on 01782 571 950 or email us on

Which of these freebies motivates you more? A coffee or three £1 coins? And does cash work better or worse than a gift as an incentive?



Let’s take the free coffee versus £3 first. I think I know what you’re thinking. That latte looks warm and inviting and it’s always nice when someone takes the time to make you a drink and offers it to you expecting nothing in return.

It has sentiment as well as value. But then again, if you choose the £3, you could spend it on whatever you like, such as a magazine or sandwich. So the money has got to be the sensible choice, surely?

Decisions, decisions.

Luckily we don’t have to guess which one most people would choose, or even rely on our own intuition. As always, the solution is to employ the services of someone like Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioural economics at Duke University in North Carolina. He’s not only an expert in his field but doesn’t mind getting paid in pizza rather than dollars which adds to his appeal, if you don’t mind the tomato sauce down his shirt.

Dan and his cohorts looked at what actually motivates people, and his findings proved something of an eye opener. For starters, it didn’t involve any dough-based delicacies. Not even for mains. Putting this revelation to one side, Dan continued his study and asked hundreds of pizza-shunning members of the public to sign up for a website or fill out a questionnaire, offering a variety of inducements along the way.

He discovered that when people were offered something tangible, like a free pen or a paperweight, they considered its value to be much greater than it actually was.

And people wanted it more.

Think back to when you were a kid and those plastic toys that sometimes came free with a comic. All those years on I still can’t get my Dennis the Menace gyroscope to fly properly.

A concrete ‘thing’ can often be seen as more valuable and people then want it more. In another study (email me if you want the details) average spend on dry cleaning was found to be 27% higher when people were offered a gift versus a discount of equivalent value.

So, cash or gift as an employee incentive?

Well, there’s no doubt people go to work to earn money and when bonuses are a substantial percentage of someone’s annual earnings cash can work very well. But cash often doesn’t work as well as gifts as an EXTRA incentive ~ at a lower level for employees ~ for three reasons:

1. Cash is considered ‘just’ income.
£50 will go in all directions, and none of it seems worth much. But a piece of merchandise, bought in bulk at £50 a piece, will have a much higher value in perception. To win a free half day’s holiday is a great motivator for some people.

2. Cash has no ‘trophy value’ or lasting effect.
When was the last time somebody showed you their pay cheque? If somebody wins an award they’ll tell everyone they know and say how proud they are.

3. Cash programmes usually lack goals.
“Do your best” is not a goal. Without a specific target there’s a risk people will just try a little harder but then tire of doing exactly that.


So, back to the latte and the £3. By now the answer should be clear. Dan Ariely has found that it is, of course, the latte. Unless, of course, you don’t like coffee. Then you can use the three quid to buy a tea.

Source || Philip Hesketh 





Following the first ever PromoExpo event at the Britannia Stadium last week, lucky competition winner Annetta Talbot of Newcastle-under-Lyme based firm Stepping Stones Education and Training has collected her fantastic business support package prize worth £4,000.

Almost 200 people attended the event, which showcased hundreds of promotional items and for open days, trade stands, goodie bags and launch events. Event founder Staffordshire businessman Tony Altham, Managing Director of Newcastle-under-Lyme based AdGiftsOnline, said:

“I’m delighted with how this first event went, and that this prize will help support a local company with the growth and development of their business. AdGiftsOnline will be providing promotional advice and guidance, as well as £1,000 of branded promotional merchandise for Annetta Talbot and her colleagues at Stepping Stones Education and Training.

“Plus, added to this will be the Business Coaching programme from award winning ActionCOACH Ian Nicklin, and a Marketing and PR support programme from Fiona Hawkins, Managing Director of our marketing partners Plinkfizz. I’m absolutely certain Annetta will benefit massively from these.

“We have received fantastic feedback and comments from visitors and exhibitors alike, and next year’s event will be even bigger and better with more speaker workshops, networking opportunities and double the exhibitors!”

Located in the heart of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stepping Stones Education and Training has over 20 years of experience in the Education and Training sector, helping people of all ages access a wide range of vocational training services to aid career progression. Managing Director   Annetta Talbot said:

“I never really thought that by putting my business card in a box, we would be lucky enough to have the opportunity to work with AdGiftsOnline for promotional products for our company.

“We are looking forward to using their products and promoting our business at the same time.”

PromoExpo by AdGiftsOnline


Hello and welcome to the revitalised AdGiftsOnline Blog!

We’ve been out of touch for a while, but fear not, we are returning to help you and your brand with promotional merchandising.

The AdGiftsOnline team were up bright and early last Thursday morning ready for the first ever PromoExpo.

Setting up gave us a great opportunity to mingle with the suppliers and to get everything just right. We even prepared goody bags which included chocolate bars, lip balms, letter openers, pens, a special Dinky Durham mug and if you were lucky – Free Origination on certain products!

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The doors for PromoExpo opened at 10am but eager early bird arrivals were being welcomed into the Tony Waddington Suite half an hour prior. We like to look after our colleagues and customers and put on a delicious spread of sausage and bacon buns and drinks.

Our branding for both PromoExpo and AdGiftsOnline, were projected across the pitch via the large screen. The room simply buzzed with enquiries and it wasn’t too long before our Managing Director, Tony Altham, took to the stage to introduce our first keynote speaker.

Ian Nicklin of ActionCoach shared his knowledge of business growth, including how to maintain motivation, increasing the bottom line and how business isn’t about busyness! We’re pleased to hear that Ian took several enquires from that speech alone.

Ruth Oxley bravely took over the mic for our PR and Marketing Partners Plinkfizz and taught us about the importance of branding and how it affects the peoples association and perception of the company.

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A scrumptious lunch of sandwiches and chips was served by the staff of Britannia Stadium and people enjoyed their free meal in the break out area. Tea, coffee and ice cold water were available all day and plenty of successful networking took place during the breaks.

The Director of the BPMA, Gordon Glenister, educated us with his fantastic presentation of 21 great ideas to promote your business using branded merchandise. Gordon stressed that the usability of the product is one of the most important aspects when deciding what promotional merchandise is best for your company.

Umbrellas, USBs, eco-friendly products, notepads, towels, electronics, mugs, bags, stress toys, confectionary and everything else you can print on could be found around the 20+ exhibitor stands. Did you see something you liked? We can source that for you at AdGiftsOnline.

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        Operations Director, Stephenie Altham.   Ian Nicklin, Tony Altham, Ruth Oxley and Gordon Glenister

The day rolled on and the prize draw for the £4000 business support package was pulled from the bowl by marketing guru Fiona Hawkins, Managing Director of Plinkfizz. We’re looking forward to working with Annetta Talbot from Stepping Stones Training in Newcastle-Under-Lyme who won this amazing prize! Congratulations!

With that, PromoExpo came to an end. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and would like to thank each and every one of you who came and supported us. We have received several pieces of positive feedback and will return next year with an even bigger and better PromoExpo 2015!


Please feel free to get some advice on business networking from our very own Tony Altham at

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