Roy Spence

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Roy Spence (born October 10, 1948) is the chairman and co-founder[1] 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.

Early life[edit]

Spence was born in Brownwood, Texas to Roy Milam Spence, Sr., and the former Ruth Griffin. He attended Brownwood High School, at which 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[2]


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.[3]


In September 2006, The Amazing Faith of Texas by Roy Spence and the People of Texas was published by the University of Texas Press[4]

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 "Purpose 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."


  1. ^ Swiatecki, Chad. "Roy Spence focused on life with purpose in post-GSD&M career". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  2. ^ GSD&M Idea City LLC Company profile Hoover’s executive summary
  3. ^ P. Kelly Smith, "Eyes of Texas Grads Are Upon Spence", Adweek, September 28, 2004
  4. ^ 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.