by Leo Jakobson | January 05, 2012
Promotional Products Association International kicked off its 50th anniversary PPAI Expo in Las Vegas yesterday by unveiling a pair of new professional designations, one aimed at industry newcomers and another at veterans.

In addition to the existing Certified Advertising Specialist (CAS) and Master Advertising Specialist (MAS) designations, PPAI now offers the introductory Trained Advertising Specialist (TAS) certificate program, designed for those early in their careers, and the advanced Master Advertising Specialist Plus (MAS+) certification program. The PPAI certification program is an industry-wide program and does not require membership in the association.

“We are excited to present promotional products professionals with new opportunities to differentiate themselves in the competitive marketplace,” says John Campbell, PPAI’s manager of certification and instructional technology. “Whether you are an industry up-and-comer or have an established reputation, the TAS and MAS+ programs raise the bar on what it means to be a professional and validate to your clients your expertise as a promotional consultant.”

In addition to the new designations, PPAI introduced an accelerated program to earn a CAS for those with at least five years of verifiable industry experience: the Certification Fast-Track (CFT). This allows participants to skip one or more CAS certification requirements in consideration of industry experience, education, and achievements. Candidates must still sit for and pass the CAS examination. 

To be eligible for a CFT program, participants must meet at least one of the following criteria: possess a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related promotional products field such as marketing, business, or advertising; possess 10 or more years of promotional products industry experience; possess a comparable certification from another agency or organization; or currently serve in a senior management capacity for a promotional products company.

For more information on any of the certification offerings, visit