Founded in a garage in 1953, PCH has grown from a direct marketer of magazine subscriptions to a famous brand that offers a broad range of products, digital entertainment and services to consumers. The company’s success has been built on PCH’s unique mix of free-to-play games and sweepstakes, value-based offers and the excitement of the Publishers Clearing House brand.
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.
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. In recent years, a family of online “play and win” properties were developed in support of the brand identity that “It’s All About Winning” at Publishers Clearing House. These include pchfrontpage.com,pchlotto.com, pchgames.com, pchslots.com, pchbingo.com, pchtv.com and PCH’s popular Search & Winsite search.pch.com. PCH has also developed downloadable game applications for iPhone and Andriod phones, in addition to running contests through social media on Facebook and Twitter and through PCH’s blog sites.
Most recently, the company has responded to the market’s rapid shift to mobile devices by developing a portfolio of downloadable mobile apps that offer more chances to win prizes and earn rewards. This development was facilitated by the acquisition of Liquid Wireless in 2012, Plethora Mobile in 2014 and LiveToWin in 2015. Mobile apps increase the company’s appeal to a younger, under 40 audience and provide a more robust multi-channel ad network. Publishers Clearing House is a limited liability company with over $900 million in sales from the combined revenue sources of digital advertising and over 7,000 items offered annually in its ecommerce and direct mail programs.