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Toshiba to PIA's Makin: No-Print Day Axed

June 22, 2012
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PITTSBURGH—When Michael Makin talks, people listen. At the very least, he seems to have the ear of Toshiba America Business Solutions (TABS).

Makin, president and CEO of Printing Industries of America, personally announced in a letter to membership that Toshiba has decided against continuing its National No-Print Day, first announced at the Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego earlier this month. Slated for Oct. 23, the campaign was aimed at raising awareness of the impact printing has on the environment.

TABS soon discovered the impact in telling people not to use print would have on their printing industry clientele, as a firestorm of anti-Toshiba sentiment swept through the industry, prompting The Print Council, Two Sides and other industry groups to decry what was viewed as a ludicrous campaign. Writers quickly pointed out that paper is not only renewable, it is the most recovered resource in the recycling community.

Makin received an assurance from Bill Melo, TABS’ senior vice president of marketing, services and solutions, that the company had agreed to abort National No-Print Day.

"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," Makin wrote. "He explained that the campaign was always directed at the office marketplace where he opined there was needless waste.

"My retort to Mr. Melo was that if this was truly the case, his campaign should have been more specific. It was not promoted as 'lets save office waste day' but rather National No-Print Day. I argued this was tantamount to having a 'Do Not Walk' day or 'Do Not Eat' day and that the grassroots response from our industry was only to be expected."

The campaign video has been taken down and Melo told Makin that any relaunch would focus on reducing office waste and not implicate the commercial printing industry.

 
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