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Exhibitor "Giveaways": A Curmudgeon's View

Am J Dis Child. 1991;145(4):427-428. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1991.02160040083011.
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Sir.—I attended the Fall meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Chicago last year. Everybody seemed to love the trinkets, snacks, pens, flashlights, and other paraphernalia given away by convention exhibitors. As I watched the escalators to the exhibit hall, participants descended with only their programs in hand; but on the way up, many carried shopping bags bulging with "goodies." As listed below, most of the giveaways did not bear the slightest relationship to the products being promoted, but who cared? They were free!

Exhibitor's Giveaway Product Item Steroid cream Book underliner Immunoglobulin Writing pen Allergy medication Instant photo Fever control medication Windbreaker Sore throat spray Coffee mug Skin cleansing Rubber bath products toy Laxative Doughnuts Digestive enzyme T-shirt Sun cream Beach ball Pain reliever Coffee mug Skin ointment Travel contest

We all know that you do not get something for nothing. The cost of these promotion items—one


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