Roy Spence (born October 10, 1948) is the chairman, CEO, and co-founder of the advertising agency GSD&M and author of the books The Amazing Faith of Texas and It’s Not What You Sell, It’s What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven By Purpose.
Spence was born in Brownwood, Texas in 1948. His parents were Roy Milam Spence Sr. and Ruth Griffin Spence. He attended Brownwood High School, where he played football and was a member of the 1965 Class 3A state championship football team. In 1967, he enrolled at University of Texas at Austin, and went on to found GSD&M in 1971.
In 2004, he won the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas. The Austin, Texas chapter of the American Advertising Federation and Texas Monthly magazine have previously named Spence Adman of the Year and Adman of the Century.
In February 2009, Spence, along with Haley Rushing authored Its Not What You Sell, Its What You Stand For, providing a primer to a brand management model pioneered by GSD&M called "Purposed Based Branding." According to Spence, "In a company without purpose, people have no idea what they're really there to do. They often look to the competition to decide what to do rather than navigate by their own sense of what's right. With a purpose in place an organization knows its reason for being and is driven to perform and innovate. Purpose sets you apart from the competition, authenticates your brand, inspires passion in your people and helps you achieve the impossible."
- GSD&M Idea City LLC Company profile Hoover’s executive summary
- P. Kelly Smith, "Eyes of Texas Grads Are Upon Spence", Adweek, September 28, 2004
- The Amazing Faith of Texas; Common Ground on Higher Ground University of Texas Press, 2006
- Spence, Roy; McClure, Tim (2006). Don't Mess with Texas: The Story Behind the Legend. Idea City Press. ISBN 978-0-9722825-1-2.
- Spence, Roy M (2006). The Amazing Faith of Texas: Common Ground on Higher Ground. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-72176-0.
- Spence Jr, Roy M; Rushing, Haley (2009). It's Not What You Sell, It's What You Stand For: Why Every Extraordinary Business Is Driven by Purpose. Portfolio Hardcover. ISBN 1-59184-241-7.
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