The Overseas Press and Media Association has historically had a powerful lobbying voice in the formulation and interpretation of government legislation that affects the business of its membership. For example, OPMA was responsible for a major change in the application of the law when Value Added Tax was applied to advertising.
The Overseas Press and Media Association has an established working relationship with accredited financial institutions which offer members of the Association concessionary terms for status reports.
Business luncheons are held on a regular basis, allowing members the opportunity of inviting guests from agencies and client companies.
The Association is ever aware of changes in the industry and in order to address these, debating luncheons with panel speakers from advertising agencies, media independents and client companies have been enthusiastically well supported.
Occasionally, luncheons are devoted to topical issues, as for example, when there was an urgent need to debate the issues of VAT legislation and the ramifications of EC legislation on members’ representation contracts with their media. In such cases, specialist speakers have been available to the Association, not only to address their audiences but to help advise members.
These functions are complemented by informal gatherings held in the summer and at Christmas at a variety of venues, when media representatives and agency guests have an opportunity to meet in a social environment. These occasions invariably attract a high level of support.
OPMA organises seminars on various subjects of relevance to its membership.
Media representatives, like any other commercial sector, vary greatly in experience, knowledge and ability; and in the extent and reliability of service they offer. The UK overseas media representative industry is a world leader in this field and it sets its standards high.
This is in no small measure due to the endeavours of OPMA, the professional body constituted to represent and promote the interests of advertising representative companies and UK offices of overseas media. Its members comprise the majority of those companies operating in this sector in the UK.
OPMA is concerned to promote a high level of professionalism amongst its members, particularly with regard to the accuracy, speed and impartiality of the information that is constantly disseminated to advertising agencies and client companies by members of the Association during the course of their daily business lives; acting as they do, as an extension to overseas media owners’ domestic offices.
The Association is governed by a Council comprising constitutionally elected individuals drawn from the membership who act as directors of the Overseas Press and Media Association. The Council normally meets nine times a year and is chaired by a President, elected from amongst the directors and serving a term of two years in the position. In addition to their duties as directors, members of the Council are appointed to serve on various sub-committees which deal with particularly detailed matters such as future strategy, finance, activities, educational programmes, etc. This then is today’s OPMA – far removed from its modest origins in 1927 when some 12 London advertisement managers and British representatives formed Dominion Newspapers to represent the interest of newspapers in the former British Empire.
Acceptance into membership of OPMA is a clear signal to the international advertising industry that the applicant company's ability to fulfil OPMA's exacting standards have been met and that references have been rigorously checked. For its part, the member company has undertaken to be bound by OPMA's constitution and conform to its Code of Conduct. This ensures that when an advertising agency or client transacts business with a member, it does so confident in the knowledge that the member company is a trustworthy, experienced professional and it can depend upon receiving high standards of service. The OPMA Overseas Media Guide
This comprehensive reference source book is published annually by the Overseas Press and Media Association with copies distributed to the International Departments of all known advertising agencies in the United Kingdom, personalised copies to affiliated members and agency contacts as requested by members.
Membership of the Association automatically provides entitlement to list each advertising medium, exclusively represented by the member, in the OPMA Overseas Media Guide free of charge. OPMA's substantial investment in evolving an editorial environment within the Guide that provides for ease of reference, ensures that the user is able to quickly ascertain which media are available in any particular country, trade, technical or consumer area. Contacting the relevant representative office is a simple matter of referring to the company name and telephone number that appears alongside each title.
The Guide is used as an ongoing point of reference by the international advertising industry and results in a steady flow of leads and business for members. OPMA Members and the media owners they represent may advertise in the Guide at very reasonable rates and, due to the careful targeting of its circulation, this is considered to be one of the most cost-effective and efficient advertising mediums available. Advertisements from related manufacturers and service providers may be accepted at the absolute discretion of the Publisher in consultation with the Directors of the Association.
OPMA's website – www.opma.co.uk – contains details on the Association, membership information and advice on Value Added Tax, representation contracts and credit control, available only to Full Members.
A key resource for international media planners and buyers, as well as for Members, are the contain online, print broadcast and outdoor media databases respectively, which can be searched by a number of criteria, including media category, country and language. In addition, the site carries real-time media industry news feeds and useful media planning tools such as translation, currency conversion and world times.