23.06.2020 / Frank Baier

Protective masks – an effective means of advertising

My perception is that most people, particularly here in Europe, are surprised that face masks have been part of everyday life in public since this spring. Without a doubt: Until a few weeks ago, nobody would have expected that medical face visors made of transparent plexiglas plastic and reusable or disposable mouth and nose protectors made of textile fabric or non-woven fabric would be in strong demand. 

Or wouldn't they? As soon as a service provider is involved, for example, in the production of plastic parts and 3D technology, in textile manufacturing and print production, in paper processing and packaging, he quickly becomes one of the players in producing such coverings. One legitimate question certainly arises: Are these inevitable solutions to secure the company's existence, altruistic activities to keep the company healthy, or simply an original business idea in this corona era? 

“System-relevant” protection products
At present, material suppliers and print service providers alike would like to make their own contribution to sound health care by manufacturing such “system-relevant” protective products, and also demonstrate their social commitment. Here are a few examples:

The specialist retailer Carl Berberich currently has face visors made of transparent; recycled polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) in its range. Mehring stands out with disposable masks, with or without a valve, similar to Filtering Face Piece (FFP 2) filter masks. And various ready-made articles such as special elastic cords and elastic bands, nose bridges and face visors can be ordered from the specialist retailer Sprintis

Customized printed products
Print services providers, in particular, can clearly score points with customized print products. The online provider Saxoprint, a subsidiary of the CEWE Group, offers both PET/cardboard face visors and cardboard face masks. Vogel printing and media service, like CEWE a Muller Martini customer, is part of the Bertelsmann Printing Group and currently offers folding masks made of 100 percent cardboard under the motto “stay safe". Although they are not considered to be personal protective equipment and have no place in the medical field, it goes without saying that the simply designed protective products can be designed and individually printed according to customer requirements. 

When asked, several material suppliers emphasize that they are well stocked and can deliver without interruption. Nevertheless, the service providers active in the commercial print sector, in particular, have unused capacities. However, demand fluctuates according to need, as there are many suppliers of protective masks, and therefore demand is now even starting to decline significantly. Could these protection products really remain a lucrative business for specialist wholesalers and service providers? 

Protective masks are advertising media 
In particular, protecting the mouth and nose, which is mandatory in public spaces and means of transport in many countries, will accompany us for some time. Even if that means taking the situation seriously: protective masks are advertising media. In future, we will probably take customized disposable protective masks with the host's advertising print away with us from appointments instead of pens and writing pads. The plausible question is simply: Are we prepared to wear such advertising masks?

Frank Baier
Editor-in-Chief, Bindereport