The Promotional Marketing Council (PMC)

Formerly known as the European Federation of Sales Promotion (EFSP)

Sales Promotion in Europe is a huge and creative industry that is estimated to employ at least one million people and generate revenue of over 30 billion Euros across the member states.

The European Federation of Sales Promotion (EFSP) was founded in 1980, and changed its name to the Promotional Marketing Council of Europe in September 2002 when it became a part of EACA (the European Association of Communication Agencies).

However its objectives remain the same:

  • to assist the development of the sales promotion industry throughout Europe
  • to present a professional image for the industry
  • to promote quality through the provision of an annual pan-european awards ceremony
  • to facilitate cross-border promotional activity and to increase understanding of the different market conditions and legislation which exists in the various member countries.

In addition, with the move toward harmonisation of consumer laws across Europe, there is an increasing need to ensure that any changes to EU or Country legislation allows the industry to continue to flourish and grow, free of unnecessary restraints. A large part of the work of the PMC is therefore spent on Lobbying within Europe to achieve these aims.

Below is a list of the major legislation which most frequently impacts on sales and marketing promotions in Ireland.

Please note this list is provided for guidance only as it is impossible to give a definitive review of all the legislation concerned unless advice is being sought on a particular promotional mechanic. Further legislation, such as the EC Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations, 1995, the Package Holiday and Travel Trade Act 1995 and the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act will have implications for specific consumer contracts and promotional mechanics. The list below is an indication of the legislation that most frequently arises in relation to promotional proposals.

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Promoting the cause of the industry in the EU. Its main objectives are:

“To create a fairer, simpler, more liberal Europe in which we can all compete on equal terms.”

Now, more than ever, the PMC needs to ensure that politicians and legislators do not adversely affect the commercial freedoms of the industry and our ability to create jobs, and wealth, through a successful, professional and well-managed industry.

We recognise both the threats and the opportunities presented by the present European Union actions, which aim to harmonise consumer legislation throughout member countries.

The PMC has adopted a common position that seeks to create a fully liberalised market, and make the concept of “promotions without frontiers” realisable throughout the European Union.

The PMC is not prescriptive about the best method, politically, of achieving this liberalisation, as long as it delivers the end objective of a genuine level playing field, in which any sales promotion technique currently legal in one member state will also be legal in every other state.

If we cannot speak and act as one in Europe, how can we hope to compete effectively on a wider international stage especially with the increasing globalisation of communications – and in particular the use of the Internet.

The PMC calls upon the European Union, and in particular upon the expert group on Commercial Communications, and the “Member States” to fully liberalise the market for Sales Promotions in Europe as soon as possible. This will increase the possibility of “Promotion without Frontiers” and act as a crucial milestone towards an open market whilst respecting consumer rights, the environment and the public interest.

The PMC is an organisation that represents the Sales Promotion industry across Europe including Clients, Agencies and Suppliers. Member countries are France, Spain, Portugal, UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Ireland and Austria and the membership accounts for an estimated 80% of the sales promotion business in those countries.

Given that:

  • The Green Paper on Commercial Communications clearly shows that commercial communications are one of the driving forces behind the Internal Market making the consumer aware of the existence of new products and creating healthy competition.
  • The Expert Group on Commercial Communications published its first opinion on Sales Promotion in June 1999 (Discounts) and that this opinion clearly showed that we are far from an Internal Market for Sales Promotions.
  • That the different laws in the various member states continue to create major obstacles for advertising, promotion agencies and clients wishing to create campaigns that can be used across Europe.
  • The rapid growth of internet and border free e-commerce will create an increasing threat to National/ EU industries. Sales Promotion agencies and their local / national clients will not only have to compete within the Internal market, but also on a growing International Global Market.

Given the above, we, the PMC, experts in the field of commercial marketing services and sales promotions, regret that four years after the publication of the Green Paper, the European Union has so far failed to implement any policy to remove existing barriers. Therefore, we will seek to unite all concerned parties, including clients, suppliers, consumers and politicians to call upon the EU to realise the Open Market for Sales Promotion business.

We urge rapid progress towards the principle of “Promotion without Frontiers” – allowing cross border activities between national states without restriction.

We urge the European Commission and the European Parliament, as well as the different national parliaments, to consider the above when drawing up a Communication on the Opinion and ask urgently that they will take the necessary steps to create the most liberal climate possible for the sales promotions industry in the whole Unified European Market.

The PMC is keen to see the principles of the Treaty of Rome become a reality as soon as possible in order to avoid the current unfair discrimination that exists within the EU. Consumer in some markets can benefit from the promotional advantages of the liberalised market in one country but are penalised or unable to benefit from the same activities in other markets by outdated protectionist laws.

The PMC accepts that the concept of liberalisation must also go hand in hand with respect for the environment, the public interest and the consumer plus the avoidance of unfair commercial practice. All PMC member organisations and their Sales Promotion Agency therefore operate according to a strong Code of Ethics for Sales Promotion.

AACC Operational Marketing Delegation
Eric Vaubourgeix

ACC Expert Group Brand Activation
Bruno van de Moortel

Asociacion Espanola de Agencias de Marketing Promocional
Oscar Gill

Assocommunicazione Settore Promozione, Incentivazione e Servizi di Marketing
Marco Gualdi

Austrian Federation of Sales Promotion
Andrea Feichtinger-Tassul

Dutch Dialogue Marketing Association
Kees-Jan Rozenstraten

Institute of Sales Promotion
Jeremy Stern, Vice Chairman

Padraig Smith, Chairman

POS Marketing Association e. V. (POSMA)
Peter Draeger

Hellenic Association of Communications Agencies (HACA)
Christs Damalas