While the association has undergone several metamorphoses, its roots date back to 1922, when what was then known as the Industrial Department of the Associated Advertising Clubs of the World was formed. Name and scope changes (National Industrial Advertisers Association, Association of Industrial Advertisers, etc.) over the next several decades resulted in the formation of the Business/Professional Advertising Association in 1974. The BPAA moniker was adopted to reflect the repositioning of the association as more than simply an industrial advertising entity.
Changes swept through again, this time more recently, when the BPAA changed its name in 1993. The BMA, or Business Marketing Assocation, was created based on the realization that barriers had existed which precluded some key sectors of the business-to-business marketing communications field. As the Business Marketing Association, the organization now addresses a wider cross-section of professionals in many areas of integrated marketing.
The New York Chapter has had a similar path in both its naming and makeup. In the 1970's, the BPAA of New York had the nickname "The Chemical Club," as it attracted a host of chemical and manufacturing members. As many of those businesses moved out of New York and towards the interior sections of the country, the membership changed complexion and the BMA of New York became somewhat more media-driven and agency-fueled. More recently, however, there has been a significant shift in focus, and the BMA of New York City (the name change reflects a reality that this chapter is Manhattan-based, as opposed to being driven through any of the boroughs, or upstate counties,) is appealing to virtually all sectors of business. While media, marketers and agencies still comprise the lion's share of membership, the BMA-NYC leadership has recognized the need to serve b-to-b professionals in other areas, such as hospitality, real estate, service providers, and the growing number and diversity of consultants in the NYC market.