Party Line: A Sinking Feeling

What would happen to your business if you could no longer sell foil balloons? That’s a scenario California retailers are facing, as there is a bill currently in the state assembly that, if passed, will ban the distribution of such balloons.

The reason California lawmakers want to ban selling foil balloons is because they can cause power outages if they come into contact with power lines. Two major electricity distributors cited more than 1,300 outages directly related to balloons in 2015, a total found questionable by Pioneer Balloon Co. COO Dan Flynn, also a member of the Balloon Council’s board of directors.

Regardless if those numbers are legitimate — Flynn said there really is no way to verify them — what is accurate is that balloon retailers in the nation’s most populous state may lose a big revenue producer. The Balloon Council is doing its best to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Flynn and Anagram International president Jim Plutt, also of the Balloon Council (TBC), recently flew to California to meet with assembly member Bill Quirk, the author of the bill, in hopes of getting him to consider the financial impact the act could have on businesses and jobs. TBC also is encouraging California residents to let their assembly representative know they oppose the bill.

It’s anyone’s guess if other states would follow California’s lead if the foil balloon ban passes, but the situation is worth following simply because of the effect it would have on the industry.

In the meantime, we remind you that foil balloons can indeed cause problems with power lines, so be sure to use weights and tell your customers not to release them outdoors.

Until next time,

Zeke Jennings, managing editor

Originally posted Friday, May. 27, 2016

Tags: balloons, party line