Corporate gifts that don’t keep on giving

Dublin, July 10 2013 – The practice of giving business gifts is alive and well, though some of the items given to clients are more weird than wonderful according to research from Regus, the flexible workspace provider, in a survey of more than 26,000 respondents from over 90 countries.

Reports suggest that corporate gifting is up, with 71 percent of companies handing presents to clients,[1] although a third of businesses are reportedly not spending as much on these gifts as they did in previous years. What cannot be achieved financially is certainly made up for in imagination, as respondents reveal the strangest business gift they have ever received.

Items range from the ‘if I like it, they will like it’ school of thought, to the slightly peculiar and the downright odd. The Regus poll reveals that across the globe, business people are receiving an off-the-wall cornucopia of gifts.

Top 10 Strangest Gifts Globally

Top 10 Strangest Gifts in Ireland

A shrunken head

A coat hanger

A dead cat

A cap with a bottle opener in the peak

Food-shaped ear-plugs

Flying pig

Antacid medicine

Stuffed dead animal

A set of nail clippers

Bag of wood chips

A coffin

Furry cover for computer


Glass ball

Initialled underwear

License plate

Soil samples

Tea leaves

A breathalyser

Potato head game

While respondents living in flood-prone districts might find sandbags rather handy, it’s far less likely that anyone would appreciate the gift of a dead pet!

The most common but perhaps more useful gifts received range from umbrellas to pocketknives and key rings.

Olivier de Lavalette, Regional Vice President for Ireland at Regus comments: “Allowing for cultural differences, there are clearly some items on the list that many of us would struggle to welcome as a gift or find acceptable. While gifts can be a great way of making businesspeople feel appreciated, or of introducing one business to another, the choice of gift can strongly affect the impression on the recipient, making it vital for businesses to consider the acceptability of any intended gift. However, this said, the range of items people have received in the line of business certainly shows great imagination!”

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[1] Incentive Magazine, 2012 Corporate Gift IQ: Spending For Employees Declines, November 2012