BPMA Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary

BPMA members enjoyed a night-time river cruise on the Thames in celebration of the association's 50th anniversary. BPMA members enjoyed a night-time river cruise on the Thames in celebration of the association's 50th anniversary.

The British Promotional Merchandise Association (BPMA) marked its 50th anniversary on September 22 with a river cruise on the Thames. Members of the BPMA board and secretariat were joined by BPMA fellows, past chairs, presidents and many others for a social evening.

The BPMA was founded by Samuel Raymond “Nobby” Clarke of the Prestige Group following a visit to Chicago where he attended the National Premium Sales Executives show and came away inspired to set up a similar association in the UK. Founded as the British Premium Manufacturers Association at the Prestige Group headquarters in Holborn, London, the name was changed when Bob Essery, sales manager at Arthur Price of England, became chairman of the British Promotional Merchandise Association to allow premium, travel, merchandise companies and other non-manufacturers in the UK to join.

Following a champagne reception and barbecue, BPMA Chairman Matt Franks shared a brief history of the association. “50 years old and still going strong,” said Franks. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to be involved with the BPMA in this, our anniversary year, and it’s fitting that we are marking the occasion by bringing together so many of our members to celebrate together.”

Gordon Glenister, director general of the BPMA said, “Hitting the 50 year milestone is an amazing achievement for any organization, especially given the changes in the promotional merchandise industry.”

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