Conventionist: Inside the DNC Media Swag Bag

This post is by Sommer Mathis, Editor of LAist's sister-site DCist, who is attending the DNC as official member of the DNC's state blogger corps.

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DCist is here in Denver for the Democratic National Convention, which kicks off tomorrow. We were too wiped out to attend last night's big Media Welcome Party at Elitch Gardens (though there's some evidence we may not have gotten in anyway), but we can tell you that the city of Denver set off an impressive fireworks display over the big bash at around 9:30 p.m. Apart from the actual work of adopting a platform and officially selecting a nominee to run for president, party conventions are more or less one big advertisement, so reporters are treated to an endless parade of parties, meals, and goodie bags.

Pictured above is the contents of this year's DNC media bag. It's actually pretty subdued compared to gift bags we've seen at similar events. Inside a canvas bag emblazoned with AT&T and Coca-Cola are the following items: an official Denver 2008 reusable water bottle from Visa, two samples of vitamin water from Joint Juice, a bottle of Walgreen's brand ibuprofen and minipack of Walgreen's brand facial tissue, a bottle of hand sanitizer from the Hogan & Hartson law firm, a tube of chapstick from Blue Cross Blue Shield, a keychain compass from the Ford Escape Hybrid, a lapel pin from the American Wind Energy Association, a pack of breath mints from ProLogis, magnetic poetry from SEIU, a pocket emergency FM radio from ProtectingAmerica.org, a notebook from Staples, a gift card for free ringtones from AT&T, a pack of breath mints from UPS, some Post-It Notes, a guide of hiking and biking trails from the city of Denver, several straight up ads on cardstock for things like a local Denver shopping mall and events happening during the convention, and pens from movearoo.com, the Laborers' International Union of North America, and the Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.

Are reporters actually influenced by the swag they receive at events like these? Probably not directly. What these companies do count on, however, is that reporters will be fanned out across the convention for the next week using these products. Maybe they'll even be curious enough to find out more about the company that sponsored them.

By DCist Editor Sommer Mathis