Founded in a garage in 1953, PCH has grown from a direct marketer offering magazine offers to a famous brand that offers a range of merchandise, as well as winning opportunities.
Publishers Clearing House was founded in 1953 by Harold and LuEsther Mertz and their daughter, Joyce Mertz-Gilmore. With mailings offering consumers an unprecedented array of discounted magazine subscription offers, the company soon outgrew its humble beginning in the garage of the Mertzes’ Port Washington, NY home to eventually become the largest magazine circulation agency in the industry, earning it a respected leadership position in the direct marketing field.
From the start, Publishers Clearing House mailings generated mail response standards which even the most creative and sophisticated tests had a difficult time beating. Meanwhile, the company pioneered in mailing production and operational areas, establishing models for a growing industry. Many direct marketing industry leaders learned their craft within the walls of the company known as PCH.
In 1967 the company launched a sweepstakes to draw attention to its magazine deals. Not surprisingly, a chance to win money was a hit with the audience in the very first test mailing and the sweepstakes prizes have been a part of the Publishers Clearing House promotional mix ever since. Over $227 Million in prizes has been awarded and the company offers many opportunities to enter online or through the mail. Online opportunities to win are available on pch.com, pchtv.com, pchlotto.com, pchgames.com and on PCH’s popular Search & Win site. PCH has also begun offering prizes on Twitter and downloadable game applications “PCHTrivia” and “PCHSlots” for iPhone in addition to running concurrent contests on Twitter and Facebook.
The reality TV-style winning moments featuring emotional reactions of ecstatic contest prize winners surprised by a team of PCH employees called “The PCH Prize Patrol” were an instant success when first introduced in 1988. These scenes revealing a candid view of unsuspecting entrants hearing life-changing news altered the nature of the company’s TV advertising that began in 1974 to heighten consumer awareness and response. The popularity of PCH Prize Patrol winning moments has made them a part of American pop culture. Many of the most well-known and most recent sweepstakes winning moments are now posted online for public enjoyment at pchtv.com.
Starting in 1985, the company’s product offering was broadened to include a wider range of merchandise including household and personal items, home entertainment, collectibles and more. Customer response has been so favorable that merchandise now accounts for the majority of Publishers Clearing House sales.
The company launched its website, pch.com, in 1999, providing online access to Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes entry, additional prize winning opportunities and exciting value deals on merchandise and magazines. A family of online "play and win" properties including pchlotto.com, pchgames.com, pchtv.com and pchsearchandwin.com, were developed in 2007-2008, in support of the brand identity that “It’s All About Winning” at Publishers Clearing House. Most recently, the company is sponsoring concurrent contests on Facebook.
Publishers Clearing House is a limited liability company with over $750 million in revenues from the 7,000+ items offered annually in its programs that cover the U.S. and Canada.