S.P.E.A. (Sales Promotion Executives Association)
Sales Promotions Executives Association)
At the end of 1954, Stanley Goodman, Irvin Towers and some colleagues decided to create in New York a "think tank" open to the top executives of companies interested by sales promotions, a commercial tool rise at that time.
During the Second World War the American industrial production was concentrated on the armament on the broad sense of the word (weapons, ammunition, armored vehicles, aircraft etc). After the hostilities, the United States government moved gradually out of this wartime type economy in order to meet the essential needs of the consumers. Factories were reconverted into production of "civil" goods (cars, equipment, household, toys, construction etc). Initially the consumers wanted at all costs to forget the days of war and to compensate for the market restrictions, It was a true economic revival causing a considerable increase in the demand which the output was not able yet to be answered, even by imposing significant delivery delays.
"The promotion man is the world's truly great revolutionary. He stimulates the latent wants and desires of people and provokes them to seek a higher level of living. He makes possible business expansion thus creating jobs and the means for society to grow. Sales promotion is a proud profession. S.P.E.A, with its world-wide affiliates, is a leader in that profession. Therefore, S.P.E.A. has a responsibility to develop the knowledge and promote the interchange of ideas that will make sales promotion continuously more effective throughout the world."
JOEL W. HARNETT
However, ten years after the war, the industry had accumulated stocks clearly exceeding the real needs for consumption.
A serious competition battle was set up, bringing a pressing need for the producers and distributors to promote the sales in order to fill a place of choice vis-à-vis the new companies entering the market. Therefore, at that time, sales promotion in the USA benefited from a dynamic creativity and very significant investments. It was in particular the time of POP actions ("Point Of Purchase") to attract the customer and give him the desire and the need to buy more. It was the time of "sweepstakes", "couponing", and innumerable other premiums and incentives (gadgets and gifts included in the packaging etc).
This is why, quite naturally, a group of "promoters" constituted an association under the name of SPEA (Sales Promotions Executives Association) to exchange their experience, define the professional code of ethics and the methodology applicable to this new discipline in the commercial development.