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Toshiba cancels National No-Print Day

June 21, 2012

Decision follows a “lengthy conversation” with Printing Industries of America CEO Michael Makin.

Toshiba has cancelled its controversial NationalNo-Print Day following extensive backlash from the paper industry, but has announced that it will be “going back to the drawing board”, reports PrintCAN.

The decision is stated to have come about following a “lengthy conversation” between Michael Makin, CEO of Printing Industries of America (PIA), and Bill Melo, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Services and Solutions, Toshiba USA. Melo is reported to have been “quite concerned with how the campaign had been received” and was keen to stress that “it was never the intent of [Toshiba] to disenfranchise or insult [the paper industry]”.

Makin commented: “Mr. Melo did commit to going back to the drawing board and assured me the promotion on its website has been removed and that any re-launch of a campaign directed at office waste will explicitly explain that this in no way references the legitimate commercial printing industry and its importance to the American economy.”

Although Makin was keen to stress that the PIA was prepared to continue a backlash of substantial volume: “Any follow-up campaign containing misleading statements regarding paper would be subject to similar scrutiny, particularly from the paper industry.”

Makin and Melo spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the reaction to National No-Print Day he had experienced. Makin stated: “We’ve had hundreds of calls from members from our organisation who said they will boycott Toshiba on 23 October and will never buy Toshiba again,” although has stressed that it isn’t an official boycott from the PIA but members acting on their own initiative.

Melo added: “The primary thing was to raise awareness of the unnecessary or wasted print in the office place, and simple ways that individuals and companies can have significant impact in reducing that waste.

“We were frankly caught by surprise that they would have such a negative reaction. I think you have a lot of passionate people in that business who maybe unfortunately interpreted the initiative as an attack on their livelihood.”

Toshiba has faced accusations of greenwashing following the announcement of National No-Print Day, and the debate on the Twitter hashtag #noprintday has been passionate from supporters and protesters alike.

However graphic arts consultant Dr. Joe Webb warned against allowing the debate to distract paper industry companies from the market trends that influence print demand.

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