Who We Are

ASI is in the business of success. A time-tested industry leader in technology, information, education, advertising opportunities, trade shows and events, ASI helps its 25,000 members sell, market and promote their brands, while turning on the world to the power of promotional products.

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The Norman Files

ASI Chairman Norman Cohn shares business advice from his 70+ years in the promotional products industry.


ASI: A Family-Owned Business

In 1949, Maurice and Bess Cohn of Iowa entered the industry as distributors, or sellers, of promo items. Four years later, they decided to become food gift suppliers instead, growing into the industry’s largest. In 1962, their 29-year-old son Norman encouraged them to buy ASI.

The Cohns soon sold their supplier business to focus on ASI and unifying the distributor and supplier network. Norman and his wife Suzanne relocated their family to Philadelphia to run the company and all five of their children, as they became old enough, worked at ASI, contributing to the success of the company and industry.

A fourth generation continues to learn about ASI and the promo industry, through internships, jobs and even occasional turns as Promo, the ASI Show mascot.


What Exactly is a Promo Product?

Promotional products, aka ad specialties, giveaways, freebies, and branded merch, are used by virtually every major brand in the world. Why? Logoed products like pens, t-shirts, grocery bags, thumb drives, water bottles, etc. are a high-impact, cost-effective advertising medium that beats out just about every other type of marketing, helping promote everything from a new store opening and hot new product to the Academy Awards and even the U.S. census. Look around. Bet you spot a ton of practical, useful FREE promos pretty much everywhere, all adding up to a successful, $25.8 billion dollar industry.

custom branded tote brand

Our Story

From its humble start in 1950 in the dining room of a small home in West Philadelphia, ASI has evolved to become a leading force for change, creativity, technical innovation and success throughout the promotional products industry, guided by the sure hands of the Norman Cohn Family and ASI’s President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Andrews.

Mission Statement

The ASI mission is to be the trusted partner of the promotional products industry by fostering its success every step of the way. To encourage growth and innovation, ASI provides the industry’s technology, education, events, research, news content and business connections.


ASI strives to empower the global promotional products industry, which is dedicated to supporting the marketing goals of businesses, brands and causes. ASI provides everything the community needs to be informed, inspired, productive and successful.


  • We care. About our members and colleagues and the communities where we live and work.
  • We treat people as we would like to be treated. That means following through, listening, and considering alternative views and ideas.
  • We are fair, open, and honest with each other, our members, our partners, and our vendors. We deliver on our promises. If we can’t, we try to make it right.
  • We surround ourselves with talented, enthusiastic people who want to learn, grow, and help us improve. ASI isn’t for everyone, and that’s OK.
  • We embrace diversity. In race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, marital status, physical ability, veteran status, and everything in between. Diversity broadens and deepens our understanding, and helps us represent and serve everyone.
  • We’re like a family. We have fun, willing to be as silly as we are serious. We celebrate everyday accomplishments and successes and share in major milestones.
  • We invest in our future by encouraging and nurturing new ways to serve members and each other.
  • We use data and facts to make decisions. But we aren’t afraid to take risks.
  • We hold ourselves, and each other, accountable. That’s how we learn for next time.
  • We strive for excellence in everything we do, from the products we create to the relationships we build.

Above all else, we’re with each other every step of the way.

Advertising Specialty Institute
Executive Leadership

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