Meredith Expands Marketing Services Portfolio, Acquires Directive

Meredith Corp. is bulking up its integrated marketing operations with yet another acquisition: Dallas-based Directive Corporation, a firm that specializes in database strategy, analytics and customer-asset management. The acquisition promises to help Meredith leverage its consumer database of roughly 85 million names more efficiently.

Meredith and Directive have been working closely together over the last three years, and the acquisition was seen as a logical final step. For its part, Directive already has relationships with big clients in the retail trade, automotive, catalog marketing, travel and tourism, health care and fitness industries. These include Suzuki, Petco, Pizza Hut and Rewards Network.

Meredith Publishing Group President Jack Griffin remarked: "More and more, database strategy and analysis are driving other marketing activities. Many clients prefer to have a single source for their marketing needs, and the acquisition of Directive greatly enhances Meredith Integrated Marketing's competitive position."



Meredith began its pioneering database project in 1992. Over the last two years, it has also moved to bolster its operations with a number of acquisitions. In January it purchased Genex, an interactive-marketing firm that specialized in "online customer-relationship marketing" for clients including Honda, Toyota and Citigroup.

Also in January, it bought New Media Strategies, which specializes in interactive, viral and word-of-mouth marketing for clients like Coca-Cola, AT&T, Ford and Sony. These followed its acquisition of interactive-marketing firm O'Grady Meyers in April 2006.

In May, the company also debuted a new market research product, HomeSight, which identifies and quantifies products used by consumers in home renovations, including where they usually buy them. HomeSight was launched in partnership with CNW Marketing/Research, a consumer research organization based in Portland, Oregon.

CNW's database of 5 million households covers a spectrum of geographic locations, financial attributes, "lifestages" and various related demographic attributes. Meredith said it will present the data to major homeware manufacturers and makers of other products used in home renovations, focusing on specific areas like bathroom or kitchen projects, over the next couple of months.

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