The Australasian Catalogue Association (ACA) has merged with both TSA Limited and the Australasian Paper Industry Association (APIA) to form a single body, The Real Media Collective, which it says will have a strong and united industry position.

Kellie Northwood will take the CEO role for the new association, having had experience across all three bodies previously, including as CEO, managing director of the ACA and TSA prior to the merger.

The board includes some of the biggest players in the industry; Kevin Slaven, CEO, PMP Limited is chairman, while Matt Aitken, COO,  IVE Group is the deputy chairman. Rebecca Lowde, CEO, Salmat is the treasurer, with John Wanless, Bambra Press and Craig Dunsford, PMP Limited filling out the board alongside David Webster, Salmat, Mark Roberts, Australia Post and Bernie Roberts, Webstar NZ.

The merger was a year in the making, as the three Associations engaged with 127 stakeholders, hosting workshops in Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland, to develop the new strategy, purpose and brand.

Northwood says, “Real media pays homage to the physical and tactile nature of print and ‘real’ connecting with real results, return on investment, engagement and activation.”

The merger was inspired by already established synergies between the three Associations and a common vision – a commitment to the growth and sustainability of the industry.

The new association has written a list of demands to Australia Post which was backed by ACA, TSA, APIA, Visual Connections, FIA and Publishers. The new body says that an informal partnership has existed for some time, with the merger being a natural progression.

Northwood says, “Formalising this partnership will offer greater resources, unity and benefits to ACA, TSA and APIA members providing them opportunity to gain from each other’s strengths. We see ACA bringing its close connections to customers, TSA with its strong marketing campaigns, and APIA being our largest raw materials provider – an important group to work closely with.”

The merger will see members benefit from a range of resources, initiatives and government lobbying opportunities. They will also have access to lecture series events, the inaugural Awards program, Roy Morgan Research data (case studies and content showing the power of print compared to other channels), PORTATM (an industry metrics dashboard that provides reports of the industry’s size and value across multiple print sectors), as well as international partnerships with the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and the United States.

Kevin Slaven, CEO, PMP, and chairman, The Real Media Collective, “The ACA has been working closely with TSA Limited and APIA for some years now providing support and funding for TSA’s three campaigns. The ACA Board believed a merger would form a united front promoting the print and paper industries. We saw that consolidating our learnings, thinking and approaches would appropriately represent all sectors.”

John Wanless, managing director, Bambra Press, says, “Being on the Board for TSA Limited has provided excellent insight into the dedicated work they are producing as an industry organisation. I look forward to continuing my involvement with such reputable Associations as a Board member for The Real Media Collective.”

Northwood says she is committed to a seamless transition for members, noting, “For TSA Limited Members, all campaign material will continue to be provided, Member subscriptions will remain the same and funding for the campaigns prioritised. This is more of an opportunity for Members to be a part of a stronger, unified entity.

“Our commitment is to continue our improvement and build an Association that is committed to the sustainability of strong and performing media channels across letterbox, magazine, direct, print marketing, fibre-based packaging and more for today and tomorrow. They all work together which means we are now in an even better position to support, promote and ultimately grow demand for the valuable products and services our industry has to offer.”

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