Analysts and swag – A waste of time and money… or worse

By Carter Lusher

On Twitter this weekend there was a little round of tweets between some analysts about the worst swag (aka gifts or giveaways) they had received from tech vendors. This online conversation might continue on Monday with more analysts providing examples including naming vendors. Here are a couple of examples:

@idarose: my most inappropriate giveaway was from a bluetooth chip manufacturer who gave away a corded mobile phone headset

@jonathaneunice: Most inappropriate swag was from Sun. For several years, they’d preach Open, then give away some utterly closed, proprietary gizmo.

Most swag given to analysts – either for attending a vendor’s event or during the end-of-the-year holidays – is a waste of money and effort. Often swag sent in the mail ends up in the trash or in the firms’ break rooms for administrative staff to pick through. Event swag frequently gets left in hotel rooms because it’s too bulky to pack into an already overstuffed carry-on roller bag. Some firms are concerned about the appearance of conflict of interest so they outright forbid that their analysts accept gifts.

What is worse than a gift that is simply thrown away, are gifts that contradict the vendor’s message like the two examples above.

However, there are times when an analyst gift can […]