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ESPM’s predecessor institution, the São Paulo Art Museum School of Advertising was established in 1951 by the well-known writer and advertiser Rodolfo Lima Martensen. The school was created following an invitation from director of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), Pietro Maria Bardi, and with the support of a leading businessman in the field of communications, Assis Chateaubriand. The institution was located within MASP until 1955.

Under Martensen’s direction, the school adopted the slogan “Ensina Quem Faz,” which marked our proximity to leading professionals in the marketing and communication sectors who went on to become professors at ESPM. This principle carries us into today, as we still maintain the philosophy of associating practice with theory.

Little by little, the institution that was to become ESPM began to find its footing. The professionals we trained went out and earned masters and doctoral degrees. As our reputation grew, renowned professors joined our faculty, bringing new and innovative teaching practices with them. We expanded our program offerings.

The 1970s ushered in a new era of growth. We adopted a new name, School of Advertising and Marketing (ESPM), and were recognized by the Ministry of Education. We were able to expand to a brand new campus in Rio de Janeiro and, shortly thereafter, expanded further to our Porto Alegre campus. In 1978, we started to offer graduate programs.

Through the subsequent decades, ESPM continued to grow exponentially. We reinvented ourselves as a leader in higher education, took on new management, and redefined our course content.

Since then, we have only continued to broaden our vision. We added five graduate programs to the ESPM portfolio, including Business Administration (1991), Design (2004), International Relations with an emphasis on Marketing and Business (2006), Journalism (2010) and Information & Communication Technology (2014). We have invested heavily in our teaching methods in order to remain innovative and on the cutting edge pedagogically. Our professors and our approach to learning are geared towards providing the best possible theoretical framework without forgetting our consistent focus on real-world market needs.

Our president, J. Roberto Whitaker Penteado – who has been associated with ESPM for over four decades – took office in 2009 with a proposal of participatory administration aiming to better our administrative structure, in order to improve our education standard. Our efforts have successfully shaped ESPM into an institution that is highly sought after by students and partners alike, recognized for excellence in the areas of business administration, communications, design, journalism, marketing and international relations.