PPAI Commemorates 50 Years of Industry Certification


Kim R. Todora

The industry’s longest standing credentialing association marks 50-year milestone commemorating the creation of the Certified Advertising Specialist and Master Advertising Specialist programs.

IRVING, Tex., (April 6, 2011) – Promotional Products Association International (PPAI; ppai.org) the not-for-profit association for more than 8,000 members of the $16 billion promotional products industry, is commemorating 50 years since PPAI, known then as the Advertising Specialty National Association (ASNA), unveiled the industry’s Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) credentialing program. Since the program’s inception, its reputation has grown to become the gold standard for industry certification and professionalism.

The CAS credentialing program was unveiled in early 1961 at the Executive Development Seminar at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland where attendees were awarded the CAS designation. The program expanded as time went on, offering those who were interested an opportunity to apply a cachet of professionalism to their work. In 1983, the board established the Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) designation and adopted the then nationally recognized program of skills attainment, Certified Education Units (CEUs). In 1999, PPAI administered the first qualifying examination, as the focus of the program shifted to its current role as a professional designation.

“Salesmen went out and really sold their products as a way of achieving goals for their clients,” remarked Robert E. Yaw, former ASNA president (1954-55), ad agency executive and catalyst in the development of CAS. “They sold programs. They were like other media—they could show you what you could reach for so many dollars.”

Since 1903, PPAI has been a source of collective strength and a foundation for education and the exchange of ideas. What began as a meeting of 12 company principals on November 20, 1903, has expanded to more than 8,000 members in North America and around the world.

 “As we commemorate 50 years of providing professional certification to the industry, we honor our lifelong CAS and MAS members and their commitment to excellence, the promotional products industry and the profession,” said Melissa Hendrick, PPAI professional development and integrated business media director. “Elevating oneself to this level in the promotional products industry is a distinct point-of-difference within our industry and truly demonstrates a dedication to professionalism, the industry, best practices and continued self improvement.”

The CAS and MAS certifications are the promotional products industry's premier professional designations. Individuals with CAS/MAS certification are seen as industry leaders—those who have attained a higher standard of professionalism, knowledge and experience. CAS/MAS industry certification is acquired through a combination of: required certification classes, demonstrated years of employment in the industry, education, industry contributions and the successful demonstration of expertise through a comprehensive examination. Certification is maintained through continuing education to ensure current knowledge and leading-edge professional skills. To learn more about the industry’s premier certification program visit:  www.ppai.org/certification.

About PPAI
PPAI – the promotional products industry’s only international not-for-profit trade association—offers education, tradeshows, business products and services, mentoring, technology and legislative support to its more than 8,000 global members. Promotional products are a multi-billion dollar industry and include wearables, writing instruments, calendars, drinkware and many other items, usually imprinted with a company’s name, logo or message. PPAI created and maintains the UPIC (Universal Promotional Identification Code), the industry’s only free identification system and universal company database. For information regarding Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) or to learn more about the proven power of promotional products (including research and case studies), visit the PPAI website at www.ppai.org or contact PPAI at 888-426-7724.





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