CHIGAGO — The American Plastics Council has cut its spending 10 percent this year, and is in the midst of an internal restructuring that officials say is designed to wring more savings out of the Washington-based trade group's budget.
The group's board decided at an early June meeting to spend $37.8 million this year, down from about $42 million the previous year. That includes a previously disclosed 10 percent cut in spending on its advertising campaign, reducing that to about $17 million a year, APC officials said.
Now that APC has brought plastic to the same favorability rankings in opinion polls as other materials, the group wants to reduce spending gradually until it finds a maintenance level of spending to keep on a par with competitive materials, said Red Cavaney, president and chief executive officer.
The cuts will not result in any layoffs, he said. Cavaney spoke June 20 at NPE 1997 in Chicago.
Besides cutting ad spending, the group reduced funding for some technical and research programs in favor of applying the research that had been done already, he said.
APC also cut back spending on federal government relations because Washington is not actively considering legislation ``directly pointed at us,'' Cavaney said. APC also has slowed work somewhat on new media campaigns, he added. More of the organization's efforts will be targeted to specific groups and less will be aimed at the general public than earlier, he said.
But Cavaney acknowledged that these latest cuts — unlike the spending reduction from $47 million to $42 million two years ago — are not ``without some risk'' that some goals could suffer.
APC hopes that a shift in internal structure will help it become more proactive, better anticipate the potential risks and engage early on in the process of political debate, he said.
That restructuring involves shifting from internal committees organized by functions, such as government affairs, to five ``teams'' that will be guided by representatives of member companies and use member resources more than in the past, he said.
The five teams will be durables, nondurables, national issues, local initiatives and resources, which will focus on long-term strategy. The company representatives for the committees have not been chosen, but each team will have a wide range of members, including business managers, lobbyists and technical people, Cavaney said.
The committees will help APC cut costs by relying less on consultants and speeding up the group's response time, he said.