ISBA and ISP to join forces

Two of the marketing industry’s biggest trade bodies, The Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and the Institute of Sales Promotions, are to patch up their year-long rift with the launch of a joint committee.

The two bodies are merging their influential promotions committees to create a single voice on a range of sales promotion issues, from European legislation to the proposed ban on advertising to children.

The merged committee, known as the Promoters Group, will be chaired by Mike Slipper, brand activities manager at food company Van den Bergh.

Last year, ISP chairman Simon Mahoney hit out at other trade bodies for not doing enough to fight the European tobacco advertising ban. His comments were widely interpreted as a covert criticism of ISBA.

Although the new committee was not formed as a direct result of that issue, Mahoney says the perceptions of rift would not have arisen if the two bodies had been working together more closely.

He says: “That situation happened because the associations were not talking to each other. It got rather out of hand. Maybe if this new promotions committee had been in place it might not have been such an issue.”

Jackie Marlow, director of marketing services at ISBA, denies there ever was a rift with the ISP over the tobacco issue.

She says: “We will be working closely with the ISP on a macro level, on the threats to the industry from forthcoming legislation. There has never been a problem between the two organisations now or in the past.”

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