The Sales Promotion Consultants Association (SPCA) is to launch a commercial arm following the breakdown of merger talks with the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).
Discussions about a merger between former SPCA chairman Clive Mishon and IPA director Nick Phillips began over a year ago.
It was expected that incoming SPCA chairman, Matthew Hooper, would see the talks through to fruition. But Hooper has since called a halt to negotiations, citing a lack of benefits for his members and an increase in subscription fees.
This week, Hooper launched the first division of the SPCA commercial arm, which will tackle issues affecting agencies across all disciplines, in the hope of not only increasing SPCA membership but breaking down industry barriers between agencies.
The new arm will initially recruit graduates and freelancers but is also expected to act as a procurement agent for members. Profits from these activities will be passed back to SPCA members by way of subsidised training courses and active promotion of industry issues.
Hooper says the next step for the commercial arm is to focus on freelance recruitment, which he says costs agencies millions of pounds every year.
Recruitment consultant Scott Knox has taken on the role of recruiting graduates into the industry.
Knox was head of graduate services at recruitment consultants Major Players, working specifically with below-the-line agencies.
He says: “Academics have portrayed sales promotion as handing out freebies at train stations. My job is to paint a true picture about what can be achieved.”
A managing director for the commercial services arm is expected to be announced within the next couple of weeks.