IMA Launches Integrated Ad Campaign Highlighting the Value of the CMA

Marc Gerrone
(201) 474-1502

Taylor Fenske
Stern Strategy Group
(908) 325-3866

Multi-channel program seeks to advance competency in management accounting

Montvale, N.J., September 12, 2016 – IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants), the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, launched a creative advertising campaign this week, including commercials on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” among other unexpected media outlets for its category. The multi-year campaign, targeting Millennials and finance professionals under 40, points to the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) certification – the world’s leading management accounting credential – as the solution to confronting the skills gap in the finance and accounting profession.

The campaign, titled “You’ve got to earn it,” was created in partnership with The Gate | New York. The multi-channel campaign will include TV, radio, print and digital ads, a new website experience, paid search, and integrated communications. Visit to see the 30-second TV spot.

The focal point of the campaign is the story of a management accountant so proud of his CMAcertification that he gets a large tattoo on his back, while his co-workers line up to be next. According to The Gate’s research, 40 percent of adults 26 to 40 years old have at least one tattoo (and 43 percent of people with tattoos think a tattoo with a personal meaning is the most important factor).

“What’s exciting about this campaign is its focus on the sense of pride and mastery of management accounting issues that comes with earning your CMA. Other certification programs might find it acceptable to grandfather in their candidates, but with the CMA, you’ve got to earn it,” said Jeff Thomson, CMA, CAE, IMA president and CEO. “There is a market need for talented finance professionals, so we’re highlighting that the CMA adds credibility to your name and shows employers that you are competent and capable of adding value to business.”

“The ‘You’ve got to earn it’ campaign isn’t just about the challenge of becoming a CMA; it’s a dare,” said David Bernstein, chief creative officer of The Gate. “We’re essentially issuing a call to action for accountants to differentiate themselves in the market by taking a test with a 50 percent pass rate.”

“To call yourself a CMA, you need to pass a two-part, eight-hour exam. Our campaign is a challenge for people who want the status that comes with the credential and a point of pride for people who already have it,” added Beau Fraser, president of The Gate. “The creative and unconventional media strategy will break through typical financial certification marketing to show young finance professionals that earning a CMA is worth the effort for their career.”

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)
IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 80,000 members in 140 countries and 300 professional and student chapters. Headquartered in Montvale, N.J., USA, IMA provides localized services through its four global regions: The Americas, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and Middle East/Africa. For more information about IMA, please visit

About The Gate Worldwide
The Gate | New York is part of The Gate Worldwide, an international advertising agency network that works with clients in tough, complicated industries to make their considered purchases products or services worth considering. The Gate manages over $250 million in client advertising and has a network of offices in New York, London, Edinburgh, Hong Kong and Shanghai. For more information, visit  

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