A blog all about ‘Beer Mats’

All about beermats, dripmats and coasters!

Thirstys, UK based beermat company issue an advisory

UK based beermat manufacturer, Thirstys.co.uk Limited have taken the unusual step of advising their existing and potential customers of an advertisement currently running with Google Adwords is using the term ‘Thirsty?’. The company believe the use of this word is likely to cause confusion in the market given Thirstys is a well know brand in the UK and the name is synonymous with beermat manufacturing.

A company spokesperson said “We have had a number of customers indicate that they believed this advertisment was for our company and they have responded in accordance with this belief. The principle issue here, is that it is very clearly not difficult to confuse the term ‘Thirsty?’ with our own trademark ‘Thirstys’.

Added to which, because the website uses a generic name ‘beermatcompany.com, the casual browser is given no clue that this website has nothing to do with Thirstys until they reach the site. From what we can ascertain, whilst describing themselves as a manufacturer, this organisation does not actually own a print press. In addition, despite the fact that it publishes a UK address (which is shared by as many as 200 other companies), try as we might, we have been unable to identify any UK based employees, only a director based in Holland. For the record we wish to state that Thirstys.co.uk Limited have no association with The Beermat Company or The Beermat Corporation Limited and we shall be seeking guidance from our legal advisors legal advisors in relation to the form of this particular advertisement.”

In the meantime, Thirstys have asked that any individual or company that may have experienced similar confusion as a consequence of this advertisement to get in touch with them.

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18 July, 2008 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beermats & fly tipping, getting the message over

Everyone accepts that fly tipping is becoming an increaing problem as the cost of rubbish disposal in landfill sites increases every year. Now some of the local councils are using beermats, which coincidentally are themselves 100% recyclable, to deliver a hard-hitting message in relation to this illegal and anti-social activity.

Gateshead Council used 40,000 branded beermats to deliver quirky and innovative messages to raise awareness of the campaign aimed at capturing the public’s imagination and encouraging them to take ownership of their Borough.

Two distinctive designs were utilised bearing images of environmental crimes as well as details of the fines attached to the offence. One was aimed at street litter, such as takeaway rubbish and other forms of fast food waste, whilst the other was aimed at fly tippers. The council emphasised that anyone caught dropping litter could face a fine of up to £50 whilst fly tippers could risk fines of up to £50,000.

The beermats were distributed to local pubs and clubs who were said to have been fully behind the campaign and its virtues.

Beermats have become a popular and inexpensive medium for advertising, branding and campaign messages used by many governement agencies, charities and businesses to deliver their messages. Because they can now be ordered in smaller quantities, are typically litho-printed in full colour, they are perfectly suited to targeted campaigns. No longer the sole domain of breweries, beermats are being used in mailers, at shows, as business cards and in upmarket restaurants and hotels.

14 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be seduced into buying fake beermats

Ask any landlord, industry player or beermat collector and they will instantly tell you that a genuine beermat is made from wood-pulp and there is a very simple reason for that, it is the pulp that provides the beermat with it’s absorbency qualities.

 

The fact that for decade’s beermats have been made from pulp-wood for very good reason, there has recently been a plethora of companies offering ‘fake’ beermats, in other words, beermats that are not made from pulp. Why does it really matter? Well these beermats are quaintly described as ‘constructed beermats’ that is to say they are typically made by gluing printed paper onto the top and bottom of board to create the “beermat”. Whilst this may look pretty and may even justify the description of a beermat, there the similarities remain.

 

Constructed beermats, or as the experts might argue, fake beermats, may act as an advertising medium, but because the print is onto paper, thee beermats are simply unable to absorb liquid without coming apart. Typically as the constructed beermats come into touch with water, the paper simply comes away or curls from the board, leaving an unsightly mess. In addition, when water liquid comes into touch with printed paper, most people already know the outcome, streaks of wet print!

 

So why do people offer fake, constructed beermats? For the most part, it is based on price, in the past it has been easier and cheaper to print short runs on coasted paper and then construct the beermat. This is because beermat board has to be printed on specialized print presses which can deal with the thickness of the board, whilst constructed beermats can be printed on virtually any press. However, some of the beermat companies have introduced printing practices that allow short runs of pulp-wood beermats, yes litho printed, full colour runs on pulp-wood board….in fact one UK company offers runs starting at just 25 beermats!

 

Why are fake beermats still offered? Well given they are considerable less useful that a genuine beermats and that there is a real and practicable alternative, perhaps it is profit, the only way to be certain is to ask the people that continue to push these constructed beermats.

 

Whilst in the past there may have been some justification in offering constructed beermats, in spite of the fact that these mats had few, if any of the properties of a genuine pulp-wood beermats, it does seem difficult to justify now!

 

9 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to design a beermat

Because different manufacturers may have variations, it is always worth checking first, but as a general guide the following would apply to designing a beermat.

Most beermats are printed square with rounded corners or less commonly, are round. Beermats are normally 94mm square or 94mm diameter. However, the beermats have to be printed and cut, therefore it is not acceptable to simply provide artwork which is 94mm. The following guidelines relate to a ‘square’ beermats with rounded corners, but the general principles would apply equally to a 94mm diameter beermat.

Artwork should be provided 100mm x 100mm. This allows for a 4mm guide, the cut edge and a bleed area. Edge borders should be a minimum of 7mm (4mm plus bleed). The beermat itself is 94mm x 94mm and the corner radius is 6.35mm. Because of the absorbent nature of genuine beermat board, the design process must always be treated differently to normal paper stock. For example, fonts must be a minimum of 7 point and for ‘reversed out’ text, a minimum of 9 point. Gold, silver and florescent’s are not accepted colours, although they can normally be provided as a ‘spot colour’ but this can add considerably to any price quoted.

Although beermats are typically litho-printed using the industry standard CMYK, because the board is manufactured using a particularly absorbent substrate, colour variances are inevitable, therefore if anyone has a particular pantone in mind for their company logo, they should stick with coated paper!

Most beermat manufacturers now insist on a high resolution PDF of the design, those that do not will normally insist that the image is converted to process colours and saved at a minimum of 300 dpi. Some of the more ‘switched on’ beermat manufacturer will offer an in-house design service, more often than not, at favourable rates, so it is always worth enquiring. If you want to deal with the manufacturer direct, it is best to ask a few pertinent questions, because some company’s lay claim to be a manufacturer when they are not and others may not even be based in the country you are from…relying instead on a ‘virtual office’ address!

8 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

American companies turn to UK beer coaster manufacturers

Companies in America seeking to purchase smaller volumes of beer coasters can now turn to UK manufacturers to fulfill their orders. With UK companies launching new volume breaks, American businesses can now purchase as few as 25 full colour, litho-printed beer coasters to print their advertising, branding or sales messages.

Traditionally, beer coaster manufacturers have insisted on much higher volumes in order to make the purchase of beer coaster financially viable. However, the UK manufacturers have introduced new processes which allow purchasers to opt for much lower volumes, without significant price hikes.

Few USA organizations will accept that they must buy 5,000 or more beer coasters and thow away 80% if they only need 1,000. Even though genuine beer coasters are 100% recyclable, no-one wants to see such waste. Recognizing this fact, one or two UK beer coaster manufacturers have introduced new volume breaks, of less than 1,000, for example, one company is offering 25, 100, 250, 500, and 750.

Even allowing for packaging and delivery, small volume beer coaster orders can be delivered to the United States quickly and inexpensively, allowing American companies to enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts in Europe.

7 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When is a beermat manufacturer not a beermat manufacturer?

Well the definition of a ‘manufacturer’ is as follows: “a person or company in the business of manufacturing; esp., a factory owner”. Therefore a purist would argue that unless the beermat company in question was in the business of manufacturing and had their own plant, that they could not possible be described as a manufacturer.

 

Given the definition is so clear, why you may ask, would a beermat company attempt to claim that they were a beermat manufacturer? Is it because it makes them appear as if they have substance, or perhaps because they believe that their customers may feel that as a supplier, as distinct from a manufacturer, will have less control over the manufacturing process? Or maybe the beermat company appreciates, that as a supplier, rather than a beermat manufacturer, they can only influence, rather than control the manufacturing process? So, by pretending to be a beermat manufacturer, rather than a supplier, surely they are openly misleading the customer into believing that they have real control?

 

Whether a beermat company claims to be a beermat manufacturer or not probably isn’t really the point. What must be, however, is the fact that it is so clearly misleading. This is because it provides a false impression to the customer that they (the beermat company) have some control over the manufacturing process, including the quality, timescales and delivery. Few people would object to dealing with a supplier, rather than a manufacturer, after all, most of us have to deal with intermediaries such as dealers, retailers and suppliers everyday of the week. But most of us would be concerned about being deliberately mislead, because if a beermat company was prepared to provide a false impression of what their role in the whole process was, is there anything else they are not telling us?

 

There is a marked difference between exaggeration and an outright lie and the customer must decide which it is. Is a company claiming to be a beermat manufacturer simply be guilty of ‘creative license’? If so, would it also be okay for every car dealer to claim that they are the manufacturer, after all, it is they who place the ‘build order’ on the factory? Perhaps not!

 

What a pity that here in the UK, there are a few companies, that rather than highlighting the virtues of their service,  their price and their  important part in the process, simply seek to claim to be something they are not. Of course this is not only in the beermat manufacturing business, it goes on in many other industries, but there is no reason why any of them should feel the need to exaggerate their roles. They should stand up and be counted. Customers do not like being taken for fools and whilst the customer may still get their product, as described, as quoted and on time, they surely cannot help but feel that they were just ‘lucky this time’.

 

The term ‘honest and integrity’ goes together like ‘hand in glove’ and those who would seek to deceive or exaggerate would do well to consider this. There are many intermediaries that can add value to the process of ordering beermats, be they dealers, brokers, promotional houses, print suppliers or advertising agencies, none of these should ever seek to claim to be something they are not and fortunately, none appear to. So the message to anyone claiming to be a beermat manufacturer when they are not is to be honest, first with themselves and second with their customers.

 

There are currently only 2 established beermat manufacturers in the UK, these are Thirstys.co.uk and Mosaic Board & Print. So, if you want to deal direct with the manufacturer, you need to be talking to one of these companies, if you are happy to deal with am intermediary, there are many promotional companies, advertising agencies, print brokers and dealers that can assist you.

 

Abraham Lincoln said “You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time, but not all the people all the time.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

In the beermat we trust

When the Roman Catholic Church recognised that there had been a sharp decline in the number of priests, they decided to use beermats as part of the recruitment campaign. With many parishes having to cope without a priest, the church recognised that they needed a powerful, meaningful and innovative method of recruiting priest to the church. They opted for the powerful force of the beermat.

 

The beermats were distributed around pubs in the London area and supported with a poster campaign in the London underground. With an expectation that the number of priests would continue to decline, the campaign had to be innovative to succeed.

 

Once again beermats are proven to be an excellent medium for delivering messages to a targeted audience. There are several manufacturers of beermats in the UK who can design, manufacture and print bespoke campaign messages.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Students, Meningitis awareness and the Beer Mat

As far back as 2003, The Meningitis Trust together with the Union of Students in Ireland opted to use beermats to highlight awareness amongst students of meningitis B and also to remind students that there was a vaccine against meningitis C.

 

As part of the Student B Aware campaign, eye catching beer mats, supported by a poster campaign, were placed in one of the most popular places for students, the bar! Some 15,000 beermats were printed to deliver this very important message to the 18-23 year age group.

 

Once again, this is tangible proof of the benefits of utilising beermats as a campaign tool for delivering essential messages in a place where they will be read! In recent years, some beermat printers have introduced new printing methods allowing them to accept orders for much smaller quantities; in fact one is actually offering 1000 full colour, genuine pulp board beermats for just £95.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up in smoke? UKIP use beermats to campaign

Beermats are often used in campaigns given, it is suggested though independent research, that they are read some 10 times before being discarded. Perhaps aware of this fact, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom launched a beer mat campaign aimed at rousing public opinion to have the blanket smoking ban in pubs overturned.

 

Clearly the beleaguered landlords of the UK’s public houses were for the most part, supportive of this initiative, given many want to provide their customers with the choice, rather than having blanket bans imposed by government.

 

Not for the first time, UKIP utilised beer mats to re-enforce their message, allowing the beermat to do the talking. Beer mats can now be ordered in smaller quantities making them ideal for smaller campaigns, targeted campaigns, promotions or brand building. Some beermat manufacturers will offer 1000 genuine pulp board beermats, printed in full colour both sides, for the princely sum of less than £100. This really places the beer mat in reach of the vast majority of small and medium sized business in the UK.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beer Mats? – Just the job!

In 2004, Pertemps used beermats to boost the number of applicants signing up on their jobs website.

 

Each beermat described, with humour, a different type of job available through their job portal. They used a total of 8 designs and distributed them around the pubs and clubs of the UK. This is yet another example of beermats being used to promote something that has nothing to do with alcohol, demostrating the power of this medium. No doubt they were encouraged by independent research which claims that a beer mat will be read 10 times before being finally, if reluctantly discarded.

 

Since 2004, UK based beermat printers have improved their printing methods allowing orders to be taken for as few as 1000 beermats, all for under £100, allowing beermats to be used by the mass market..at last!

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment