Office Workers Beware: Survey Reveals Pen Thieves on the Prowl

Paper Mate® Exposes Perpetrators as Part of New InkJoy® Pen Launch

Feb 13, 2012, 07:00 ET from Paper Mate

OAK BROOK, Ill., Feb. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Is it a capital crime or lower case offense? Whatever the sentence, a survey conducted by Paper Mate® about office theft found that 70 percent of office workers report their pen has gone missing.  To better underline the problem, Paper Mate is launching a playful campaign that taps into the common frustration of missing and stolen pens. The campaign's centerpiece is a fun consumer promotion encouraging victims to expose suspected pen thieves on Paper Mate's Facebook page.


"I am surrounded by people who have ample access to pens and still my own pens go missing," said Scott Crist, global director of marketing for Paper Mate.  "There are always those who claim it was a mistake or that they absent-mindedly walked off with it, but since we launched our new InkJoy pens, I'm questioning motives." 

According to the survey of 1,000 American office workers, all admitted to having taken a pen from a colleague at one time or another.  Seventy-eight percent reported it was an accident.  Twenty-two percent said they took it knowingly. 

"Who would knowingly steal a pen?" Crist said.

Simply needing a pen is reason enough for 51 percent of those surveyed. Half said they've stolen a pen because it writes smoothly or effortlessly.  Thirty-six percent stole it because they like the way it looks, and 34 percent said it was because they like the color.   

"When it comes to effortless glide, vibrant colors and everyday value, Paper Mate's new InkJoy pen tempts even law-abiding citizens," said Crist.

Pen Thieves Outted

Coined "The World's Most Stolen Pen," InkJoy is launching a global, multi-faceted marketing campaign that includes TV and digital advertising.  A Facebook promotion, launching today in the U.S., encourages victims to submit images of suspected pen thieves to create "Wanted" posters for sharing across social networks. Participants will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of up to 100 daily InkJoy pen giveaways and one grand prize of $2,500.

Survey Says...

While pen thieves are rarely prosecuted, other survey findings purporting the problem of pen theft include:

The Crime

  • In an office setting, writing utensils go missing more often than other office supplies. Seventy percent say pens vanish most, followed by pencils (55%) and highlighters (55%). A pen is about twice as likely to go missing as a stapler (35%), a pair of scissors (36%) or tape (38%).  Paper clips and binder clips go missing for 43 percent of respondents, rubber bands for 38 percent. 
  • Twenty-two percent of survey respondents noted an increase in missing office supplies as a result of the recession.

The Evidence

  • Seven-in-ten office workers have had pens disappear from their office. Nearly two-in-five (38%) have caught a colleague red-handed.
  • When items go missing from work, 60 percent of American office workers assume a co-worker took them, while more than half (53%) believe they are responsible for misplacing them.


  • While 47 percent of office workers said they are willing to take some action to get a pen back, a passionate minority have creative antics for pen theft pay-back:
    • About one-quarter (23%) would steal it back.
    • Nearly one-in-ten (9%) would call the culprit out in a meeting.
    • Five percent won't take pen theft sitting down. They'd secretly slap a note on the accused's back, labeling them a "Pen Thief."

Protecting Your Pen

  • Thirty-six percent said a chewed up cap or teeth marks on a pen would deter them from pen theft.
  • Nineteen percent said knowing they might get caught would prevent them from pilfering.

"We had a lot of fun commissioning the survey," said Crist. "The bottom line is the vast majority of people don't intentionally steal pens, though with InkJoy on the market now, all bets are off."

About InkJoy

InkJoy is the first pen to deliver a revolutionary writing experience at an everyday price.  Every pen in the InkJoy series features a quick, reliable start, requires minimal pressure, and delivers crisp, clean lines every time for a truly effortless writing experience.

The InkJoy product portfolio includes seven lines, from the 100 "everyday" to the 300 "moderate" to the 700 "elite" series.  Product features and pricing advance along with the series, from the more basic 100 (suggested retail price: $2.77 for a 10-pack), to the full-featured 700 series pen with its hour-glass shape and high-gloss finish (suggested retail price: $4 for a 2-pack).  The 100 and 300 series are available in ten vibrant, modern colors. The 700 series is available in black, blue and red.   

For more information on InkJoy, visit  To report a pen thief, visit

About the Survey

Survey results were extrapolated from a national telephone survey of 1,000 American office workers who work at least 30 hours a week. The survey was conducted by Braun Research from December 14-27, 2011. The margin of error for national findings is +/- 3.1 percentage points.

About the Promotion

No purchase necessary. A purchase will not increase your chances of winning. Legal residents of the 50 United States (including D.C.) and Puerto Rico 18 years and older. Void elsewhere and where prohibited. Promotion ends 3/25/12. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit Sponsor: Sanford L.P., 2707 Butterfield Road, Oak Brook, IL 60523.

About Paper Mate®:

For more than 60 years, Paper Mate has been a leader in the world of writing instruments, providing progressive, performance-driven pens, pencils and correction products. Today, with its recognizable two hearts logo, Paper Mate boasts a wide range of products to help create meaningful connections through writing.   Paper Mate is part of the Newell Rubbermaid global portfolio of leading brands.  Newell Rubbermaid Writing and Creative Expression Global Business Unit is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products, and office organization, including such well-known brands as Sharpie®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, uni-ball®, Prismacolor®, and Rolodex®, among others. Visit more information.


SOURCE Paper Mate