IPM Agenda 2013

IPM Agenda   

During 2013, the IPM has continued to broaden its member base and adopt a more assertive stance within the promotional marketing landscape.   

We are proudly dedicated to upholding the highest standards of professionalism in the promotional marketing industry, representing the interests of client companies that use promotional marketing techniques and the agencies and suppliers that support them.   

Despite suggestions that the UK is on the road to recovery in early 2014, the current economic conditions remain challenging, although the significant increase in entries for the IPM Awards 2013 points to an industry that rises to any challenge! This is a true testimony to the sector, and reinforces the IPM’s new theme of ‘Made in the UK’ and how proud we are of our members output. 

Such output no longer focuses just on tactical sales-driving promotions – the IPM now champions marketing which leads to behaviour change at a more strategic level. 

Under the leadership of Chairman Becky Munday and Vice-Chairman Graham Temple, the IPM is committed to championing the effectiveness of promotional marketing amongst the wider marketing community and beyond.   

We will continue to invest in our research function. This was launched over three years ago and has already delivered solid evidence for the real value and effectiveness of creative promotional marketing.   

With evidence comes belief, and with belief should come increased investment in a plethora of promotional marketing activities across all industries and all media channels.

Of course, promotions still have to tick all the right boxes: and compliance, particularly in the digital arena, must be a priority for all those involved in the creation and execution of promotions, whichever media channels are used.   

Promotions that are run professionally and effectively will continue to strike the right chord with their target audiences. Promotions that are run ineffectively and with scant regard for consumer-protecting rules can damage a brand’s reputation and that of the agencies and suppliers behind them.   

The IPM continues to play a major role in ensuring that promotions are legal and follow the CAP Code and best practice. We do this through our well-established Legal Advisory Service (headed up by barrister Philip Circus, one of the UK’s leading marketing law experts) and through our Compliance function (headed up by Edwin Mutton, who also represents the IPM on the Committee of Advertising Practice).   

Our LAS has been working particularly hard over the past six months to respond to the explosive growth in online social media sites and how they are affecting the promotional landscape.   The team worked with Facebook, the ASA and CAP and has now published A Guide to Running Promotions on Facebook. This was launched at the IPM’s Social Marketing Conference in February, attended by 100 industry players. 

The IPM is now in talks with Twitter over its promotional rules.   

We also continue to play a very active role in the UK’s self-regulatory system governing advertising and marketing. 

As already mentioned, Edwin Mutton sits on the CAP Committee, which draws up the CAP Code; and Philip Circus chairs CAP’s Sales Promotion and Direct Response Panel.   

Following on from the extension of the ASA’s digital remit in March 2011, the IPM published the Experiential Marketing Code of Conduct. Experiential has grown explosively over the last decade, but many of the techniques used are not covered by the CAP Code.   

With many promoters these days incorporating experiential in to their campaigns, it was vital that the same levels of consumer protection applied to experiential as already exist in more traditional marketing channels.   

Our world-leading education programme continues to ensure that promotions are well executed, comply with the law and the CAP Code and adhere to the highest standards.   

The IPM Diploma is now in its 31st year, and 2013 saw the launch of the International Diploma developed by the IPM alongside EACA.   T

he Diploma in Motivation, the Certificate in Promotional Marketing and the Certificate in Experiential Marketing all continue to thrive and we have also expanded our range of one day courses with new courses covering the measurement of experiential, digital compliance and running promotions on mobile.   

Despite the economic conditions, 2013 saw entries to the IPM Awards rise by a staggering 15%, and the attendance at the Gala Dinner in June was close to record levels.   

We are now waiting to see whether the UK campaigns which won awards in our programme go on to win further awards in the European IMC Awards and the worldwide MAAW Globes.   

The IPM is more proactive on the communications front, led by Head of Communications Martin Croft, and is keen to explore digital as well as more traditional ways to engage with members.   

IPM representatives have appeared on BBC TV and radio, plus commercial radio, and the IPM has been quoted in UK national newspapers, magazines and online news sites.   

Much of this coverage has been generated by incisive research, but some of it has been in response to national news stories on issues such as money-off coupon misuse, the administration of competitions and money-saving strategies during the recession.   

Our ongoing research into the margin-damaging effects of continuous price discounting and the brand-building alternatives offered by various forms of value-added promotional marketing continues to be widely reported in The Grocer and in the marketing press.   

The IPM’s conference and seminar programme is growing in stature and reach. As mentioned earlier, 100 people turned up to our Social Media Conference in February and the same numbers look likely for the Mobile Conference in April.   

More conferences are planned for the second half of 2013, including the annual fast.MAP Marketing-GAP Study, which explores how little marketers understand about what incentives actually motivate consumers.   

Promomarketing.info, editing by Martin Croft, continues to deliver news round-ups every other day and regular features and comment, and visitors can now add their own comments and engage in discussions on important issues. 

The COGS, the annual award scheme which honours the crucial role played by suppliers and service partners in the success of promotions, goes from strength to strength.  

This year, more than 1000 people cast over 4000 votes across 19 industry categories and two special categories. The COGS Awards will be handed out on September 20th at Vinopolis in London’s trendy Borough Market quarter.   

The IPM has also named breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! as its first ever official charity, and will be running a range of awareness and fundraising activities across 2013.   

Your IPM continues to transform itself to ensure that it remains relevant and responsive to the needs of the industry. The following activities and initiatives will give you an outline of where we have got to and where we intend to go on your behalf in the future.   

UK Issues   

The subjects of promoting to children and alcohol promotions continue to be high on the agenda. They have now been joined by increasing concerns over data collection and use by marketers, particularly for behavioural targeting and by social media sites.   

The Coalition Government continues to prioritise the welfare of children and the protection of childhood. The UK advertising and marketing industry has spent two years working hard to respond to the recommendations of the Bailey Report, published in 2011, which explored the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.   

The IPM is, as always, working closely with the Advertising Association to provide evidence defending promotional marketing against the criticisms being levelled at it. The IPM has also been fully supportive of the Advertising Association’s ‘CHECK’ initiative, which provides information on best practice marketing to children.   

The Experiential Marketing Code of Conduct included much content intended to further protect children, and the Advertising Association directly cited the IPM’s work in this area in its presentation to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, outlining the marketing industry’s response to the Bailey Report.   

Alcohol promotion is still under scrutiny. Pressure mounts on the marketing of alcohol in England and Wales and the UK Government plans to introduce minimum pricing on alcohol and has also said it will start a consultation process on further restrictions on irresponsible alcohol promotions, which the IPM will obviously monitor on behalf of members and respond to as necessary.   

The IPM, alongside the Advertising Association, will adopt a more aggressive stance on the industry’s behalf to fight an outright ban on alcohol-related promotions.   

The IPM is closely monitoring promotional marketing in the digital space following the extension of the ASA’s remit back in March 2011, giving it the power to apply the code to companies’ own websites.   

The IPM believes that digital media is the ‘media of choice’ for promotions so this is an area of great interest to us, particularly when it comes to social media and mobile marketing.   


The EU Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices   

We have had three decisions from the European Court of Justice that have made it clear that only those practices that are specifically banned by the UCP can be forbidden by EU national governments. Any national laws banning promotional marketing practices that are not listed as banned under the UCP are not valid.   

It may take some time for the impact of these decisions to work its way through EU member states. Furthermore, some member states have indicated a desire to change the UCP to allow them to continue to ban a range of promotional techniques.   

It is possible that some EU countries may continue to try to apply national laws restricting promotional marketing. If so, then it is likely that the relevant cases would be referred to the European Court of Justice. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and keep members informed.   

Further advice on running promotions, whether in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, or in relation to other European countries, or indeed anywhere in the world, is available from the IPM's Legal Advisory Service.   

The IPM continues to lobby in Brussels, at Westminster and through its direct links with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the AA.   

We are also members of the Integrated Marketing Communications Council (IMCC) of the European Association of Communications Agencies (EACA) and, in September 2012, Fiona Moore, managing director of IPM member agency Blue-Chip Marketing, became chair of the IMCC.   


Education continues to be a major driver of the IPM’s agenda. Chris Bestley, our Director of Education, and Richard Pink, Associate Director, have noticeably strengthened the current program both in terms of content and new tutors.   

Over the last 12 months, they have added new courses including Measuring the Value of Experiential Campaigns, Digital Compliance and Running Promotions on Mobile, both of which have been phenomenally successful.   

The IPM Diploma in Promotional Marketing, with intakes in March and October, remains the standard-setting course in promotional marketing. 

To ensure we provide the very best and most useful content to delegates, each module has undergone the most thorough review in the Diploma’s history. An international version of the Diploma has now been launched, in conjunction with EACA.   

The IPM Diploma in Motivation, now in its eighth year, continues to attract a healthy number of students.   

Strategic Thinking: this one-day course, aimed at more senior marketers, is now attracting more candidates than ever before.   

Shopper Marketing: another one-day course that has seen the highest attendance since launch. 

Two new one day courses, Measuring the Value of Experiential and Running Promotions on Mobile, were launched, in response to requests from the industry, and have already proved popular. A Digital Compliance course launched in May 2013, and plans are afoot for a Diploma in Experiential Marketing.   

In-house training. Both agencies and brand owners continue to make use of our in-house training facility, with the latter particularly interested in giving their brand management teams better understanding of promotional marketing techniques. 

Partnership with the IAB. 

We have been working with the Internet Advertising Bureau about adding modules covering the legal aspects of running promotions online into their IAB training courses.   

Institute members benefit, of course, from significant savings on the above IPM courses.   


The IPM Awards 2013 continued to build on the success of and changes to our awards program made over the last four years. In spite of a tight market, entries were up 15% on 2012 and the theme of ‘Made in the UK’ has been well received.   

Winners of the IPM Awards 2013 were invited to submit entries to the European IMC Awards and MAAW Globe Awards (winning an IPM Award is the only way that a UK campaign can qualify for entry into either the IMC Awards or the Globes) and we are expecting the results of these imminently.

Legal Advisory Service

The Legal Advisory Service (LAS), led by Philip Circus, Beverley Saha and Ruth Hobbs, continues to grow in stature, and is the area in which we achieve unparalleled positive feedback. This is becoming an ever more important service, particularly in the area of digital promotions. 

We have also seen how failure to comply can result in damage to the reputations of brands.   

Given Beverley Saha’s area of expertise, the IPM is now able to offer two further services – firstly, drafting and reviewing commercial contracts from client/agency agreements, and secondly trademark registrations as they apply to promotions.   

Ruth Hobbs has been taking the lead on the IPM’s exploration of the opportunities and threats which Social Media offer for promotional marketers and, as mentioned previously, wrote the IPM Guide to Running Promotions on Facebook which was published earlier this year and which is currently being updated. 

The LAS team is now talking to Twitter about its rules.   

The IPM Seal, the consumer-facing accreditation scheme, is still available to promoters. Any promotion, in its entirety, that passes the rigorous guidelines laid down by the IPM’s LAS team is awarded the Seal.   

The promoter may then include the Seal logo on-pack, on point-of-sale material, in ads, on direct marketing material and online as a reassurance to the consumer that the promotion is legal, decent, honest and truthful, and hence safe to participate in.   

Significant savings on LAS usages are, of course, in place for Institute members. 

The Institute has added to its legal support by offering advice on areas such as corporate finance, commercial property, employment law and commercial litigation. Members are able to access this advice, at very preferential rates, through our alliance with leading law firm Lewis Silkin.   

Finally, the IPM can also offer legal advice on international promotions, calling upon the expertise and contacts of Phillip Circus, our Director of Legal Affairs. 

This service has seen a huge uptake in demand recently, and we expect that growth to continue.   

Joint Partnership Initiatives

A closer working relationship has been forged with the DMA, ISBA, IAB and the BCSC (British Council of Shopping Centres), with reciprocal member benefits being extended.   

We worked closely with a number of trade bodies and regulatory bodies on the launch of the Experiential Marketing Code of Conduct. 

Among the industry bodies which have provided input to the Experiential Marketing Code of Conduct drafting process are: CAP; the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA); the Advertising Association (AA); the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA); the Direct Marketing Association (DMA); the Portman Group; the Marketing Agencies Association (MAA); Eventia; the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA); the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA); and the British Council of Shopping Centres (BCSC).   

The IPM’s Coupon Committee continues to campaign on the problems of Money Off Next Purchase coupon mis- and mal-redemption and fraud, particularly in the area of high value customer care vouchers.   

The IPM’s recent negotiations with eBay have led the latter to adopt more rigorous rules for the posting of coupons and vouchers on the site, which have significantly restricted the ability of users to sell large numbers of coupons at one time.     

A number of factors have driven media interest in this area: the recession and the resulting need to stretch household budgets; the rise in websites offering consumers money-saving advice; programmes about ‘extreme couponing’; and court cases involving the theft or unlawful use of coupons.   

As a result, there have been a number of media opportunities (on TV and radio, in the national press and online) for the IPM to highlight the problems of coupon misuse and point out the potential damage it could do, if unchecked, to UK companies.   

Research and Insights   

In 2010, the IPM launched its own research programme, to provide much needed data and insights into promotional effectiveness.   

This programme kicked off with a white paper that established, for the first time ever, an accurate estimate of the value of the promotions market – at least £36 billion. This exercise is being repeated right now, and the results should be published in early 2014.   

A number of white papers have been published, with seminars accompanying each White Paper; to date, these opportunities to network and to explore the findings of the research in more detail have been particularly well attended by brand owners and agencies.   

In 2013, the IPM has continued its relationship with leading research agency fast.MAP, partnering the latter in the eighth annual Marketing-GAP study.   

This is a high-profile annual study in which consumers are asked how they respond to a range of marketing techniques and creative treatments. Marketers are then asked how they think consumers respond to those techniques and treatments. In most cases, marketers are woefully wrong. With the IPM’s support, the focus of the study is now on how to close the GAP – invaluable information for marketers and their agencies.   

IPM associate director Paul Godwin, who has served on the IPM Board for a number of years and was planning director of IPM agency member Positive Thinking, leads the IPM Insights programme going forward.   


The IPM has named breast cancer charity CoppaFeel! as it’s first ever official charity, and will be running a range of awareness and fundraising activities across 2013.   

CoppaFeel! is the only cancer charity in the UK specifically dedicated to awareness and education amongst young people (particularly those aged 18 to 30). Its aim is to stamp out late detection and misdiagnosis of breast cancer by ensuring that people know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.   

CoppaFeel! was founded in October 2009 by Kristin Hallenga, who now has inoperable tumours on her spine after doctors failed to spot breast cancer not once but twice. She was 23 when she went to the doctors; she is 27 now.   

The IPM is now challenging its members – brand owners, agencies and service partners alike – to come up with some innovative and effective ways to help CoppaFeel! get its message across, whether that’s to their own staff or to the public. We can’t let embarrassment or ignorance continue to kill young people.   

Industry Representation   

The Institute continues to play an active role in the direction of the promotional marketing industry:

  • in Europe, through our membership of EACA and FEDMA, and through lobbying in Brussels and at Westminster; 
  • through our active membership in or partnership with marketing industry bodies and trade organizations including AA, ASA, ASBOF, CAP, ISBA, IPA, IAB, DMA, BCSC, POPAI, PROMOTA and BPMA;    
  • we also maintain our profile by continuing our participation in the Parliamentary Debating Group. 

Member involvement/Events

Member involvement is critical to the future success of the IPM, particularly at a time when it seeks to extend its services to the industry and make people and organisations from all marketing disciplines recognise that promotions are part of what they do.   

As a result, last year saw the launch of more opportunities for Members and Non-Members to engage with both the IPM and with each other through Chairman’s lunches and dinners, seminars, roundtables, briefings, and through more social networking events – sporting tournaments, quizzes, and further activities up and down the country.   


The IPM is determined to make great strides in 2013 to make itself even more relevant to practitioners and brands. It will continue to educate agencies, brand owners and the industry at large about the value of promotions, not just for building sales but also for building brands long term and for changing consumers behaviour in other, non-sales related, ways.   

With the initiatives that we are taking, and through the hard work of the Board and the IPM Team, I am confident that we are making the changes necessary to position us to take advantage of the opportunities that are ahead and to provide added value and confidence to businesses that promote.   

Becky Munday


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