New York-based trade body the Promotional Marketing Association (PMA) is to launch a UK branch.
The move is part of a plan to build a global network of PMA branches for below-the-line agencies and clients. US members include Yahoo, Blockbuster Video and Coca-Cola.
The UK launch will be followed by a European roll-out.
The PMA aims to be more informal than other UK trade bodies, providing networking opportunities across international boundaries.
There will not be a free advice service for members, although the organisation will provide a regular global law bulletin, events and seminars, and an annual awards ceremony. The PMA is non-profit making.
Stephen Groom, a partner at solicitors Osborne Clarke and co-chairman of the UK chapter, says: “We are a truly international association at the cutting edge of the new media revolution.
“Membership will give people an opportunity to network with US promotions companies and forge links around the world. There is probably more of a fun element than other trade bodies.”
The annual membership fee is expected to be about &£300.
The Institute of Sales Promotion (ISP) chairman Simon Mahoney gives the PMA a cautious welcome: “Anything which improves the industry has to be welcomed.”
The PMA was founded in 1911 and has more than 700 member companies. There are 11 chapters worldwide. The UK chapter will be launched on March 6 in London.
Guest speakers will include PMA chairman John Zamoiski and TalkCast joint chief executive Ellis Watson, who launched CurrantBun.com – The Sun newspaper’s Website.