The Sales Promotion Consultants Association (SPCA) has opened talks with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) with a view to a merger.
It would fulfil the IPA’s long-term plan to bring more below-the-line agencies into the fold.
IPA director general Nick Phillips comments: “The market for marketing communications is changing extremely fast and there is clearly a mood within the IPA agencies to broaden the scope of membership.”
SPCA chairman Clive Mishon believes consolidation is the way forward for trade bodies. He says: “I see a vital role for a trade body operating in each of the areas representing practitioners, trade disciplines and clients.
“But there is no reason why, in an integrated marketing industry, there should be more than one organisation representing each.”
Colin Lloyd of the Direct Marketing Association, which has had talks in the past with the SPCA, says: “If this is a full-scale merger, I am delighted for them.”
Commenting on the proposed merger, Institute of Sales Promotion legal adviser Philip Circus says:
“The SPCA is a relatively small organisation and it has insufficient funds to be a big hitter, so it will benefit from a merger in that respect. But there is a danger its voice will be swamped.”
Incorporated Society of British Advertisers director general John Hooper says: “I applaud this initiative.”