A Sales Promotion History Lesson

The Wall Street Journal is paying homage to one of the founders of Sales Promotion, Robert M. Sandelman, who died Sept. 13 at 81.

His idea was to appeal directly to the consumer through mailings, coupons, rebates, demonstrations and in-store entertainment — things that cut out the cost of broadcast or print ads.
“Advertising is a selling message in a medium the client rents,” Mr. Sandelman told the journal Management Review in 1989. “Sales promotion is a selling message in a medium the client owns — generally packaging.”

Sandelman is the author of The Problem Is They Don’t Know The Problem and the creator of the American Express Gold Card, among other things. He formed his sales promotion agency, Robert Brian Associates, in 1955.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.