A short history of ERA Global

Teleshopping started in the US in 1977. Bob Circosta was working at one as a talk show host at a small Clearwater AM radio station. The Station owner, Bud Paxton, went to collect an advertising bill from an appliance company the station had been promoting for 13 weeks. Instead of money, he gave Paxton a case of 112 avocado-green can openers, take it, or leave it. He reluctantly accepted the deal and brought them back to the station. Bob was given the can opener and told to sell them on air which he did. This was ow it started !!!


Soon the industry set up an association, which was called NIMA? ? which then transformed into ERA, The Electronic Retailing Association, based in Washington D.C.

In the year 2004 a courageous group set up the Electronic Retailing Association Europe, ERA Europe with seat in Brussels. ERA and ERA Europe had entered into an affiliate agreement to define their “family” relationship. This agreement clarified that ERA Europe would only be active within Europe and the Middle East. Through this affiliation agreement with ERA, it was ensured that the European members would also be members of the US organization. The European ERA was represented on the US board and vice versa.

The brave group of the first board members was Henry Scott, Ed Garrubbo, Branimir Brjklyc….. The first European Executive Director was Marcel Avargues.

The UK industry had its own UK association. It was incorporated into ERA Europe in 2005. With this incorporation, a special UK Chapter was set up to represent the industry towards local institutions and to represent the industry on the BCAP (Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice). Please check the full form

The European Conference was run for the first time by the European ERA in the year 2007.

Since the year 2011, ERA Europe has an advisory status in the European Audiovisual Observatory of the Council of Europe.

In 2012 ERA Europe published its first in-depth research paper on the European teleshopping markets. On that occasion ERA Europe transformed its B2B self-regulation program to a B2C project. From then on any European customer was entitled to claim directly at the independent SRO that a member company was non-compliant with the ERA Europe code of ethics. The same year, ERA Europe published its first deep research on the European teleshopping markets.

The year 2012 was also the year of management transition. Dr. Julian Oberndörfer resigned from his position as Chairman of the board of Directors to become in 2013 the new CEO of the association. The board elected that year the Chair of the UK Chapter, Mike Wells, to succeed as new Chairman of the board.

In 2014 ERA Europe introduced its quarterly newsletter.

In 2015 ERA Europe introduced new Statutes, simplifying and streamlining the internal rules. To improve the quality of speakers, ERA introduced a new educational format, MCMS (Multi-Channel Money Streams), and hired a media specialist to organize and host the event.

After the financial statement of 2013 the organization restructured and reshaped its cost structure and strategy. In 2015, the financial goal to have approx. 50% of the planned yearly spending was reached. Since then ERA Europe planned with a break-even budget investing more money into member benefits.

In 2016 ERA Europe introduced the first EMMA Awards which were hostedat the summer conference in Barcelona. That same year ERA contracted a PR-agency to ensure better communication, started its LinkedIn profile and renewed its Facebook presence.

The next year saw the concept of an inventor´s pitch at the 2017 Venice conference. The same year ERA Europe published its second in-depth market study on the main European markets.

At the 2018 Sevilla summer conference ERA Europe introduced a new format to its conference – the “1st Timer Speed Business Dating” event. But the year 2018 brought other dramatic changes. The US-based ERA ended all its activities with immediate effect and come May 2018the Global industry found itself in a position where a loss of the global network, the industry exchange and business became a potential threat. The European Board decided that the legacy of ERA Europe was the global ERA network, thus its main mission was to maintain the global industry network and family.

Since then, ERA Europe renamed itself to ERA GLOBAL – open to companies from all over the world. With the PDMI a first partnership was set up to fill the gap of international events. Due to the international structure and many non – European member companies to join, an APAC-chapter was set up, to be represented on the Board of directors by Jonathan Gregory from Oaklawn/Shop Japan. Telebrands with Poonam Khubani followed to represent the American members on the board. Also, the pricing policy of ERA GLOBAL has been reviewed. Being a non-profit association and due to the structural changes, conference and membership fees have been relevantly reduced.


The 2019 Budapest summer conference was the last pre-pandemic event. The members managed to meet informally in Malta in Fall 2021, they had however to wait until June 2022 until the long awaited event in Amsterdam could finally take place. 2022 was also finally the long awaited kick off for our Europe activities with the Fall conference in Las Vegas. 2023 started then (with a three years delay) with the new concept of an exclusive member lounge at The HIS in Chicago, Malta in Summer and Las vegas in Fall will adjourn the year.

ERA Global formed partnerships with the International Housewares Association (organizer of The Inspired Home Show, Chicago, US) . The year 2020 saw the development of the first digital events,.

ERA Global was represented by the below listed Chairman

2004-2006 Branimir Bkkljac Studio Moderna Slovenia
2006-2008 Alex Chacon EHS Spain
2008-2010 Gilles Labouyrie Teleshopping France
2010-2012 John Mills JML UK
2012-2013 Julian Oberndörfer HSE Germany
2013-2015 Mike Well Dolphin Entertainment UK
2015-2017 Isabelle Fournier M6/ Ventadis France
2017-2019 Maja Umek Studio Moderna Slovenia
2019-2021 Ken Daly JML UK
2021-2023 Dieter Schneider Mediashop Austria

Since 2019 Jon Gregory from Oak Lawn represents our Asian Members as Chairman of the APAC chapter.

Since 2021 Poonam Khubani is chairing the representation of the Americas to ensure their say in our organization.