Abacus to Move Into Europe

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SAN FRANCISCO-Less than two weeks after signing its 1,000th member in its Abacus Alliance, co-op database company Abacus Direct Corp., Westminster, CO, yesterday announced plans to enter Europe.


The move, which was announced at the DMA's 81st Annual Conference & Exhibition here, will be made through the launch of Abacus Direct Europe, a joint venture formed through a partnership with VNU, a large Dutch publishing and business information company. A team of four or five Abacus employees will go to England to work with a team from VNU to start the project.


While there are several significant lifestyle-oriented databases, Abacus Direct Europe will be unique to the European market because it will include behavioral data based on purchasing histories, Abacus officials said.


Abacus opted to enter the European market through a partnership rather than alone since VNU already has a lifestyles database of every household in the United Kingdom and it knows privacy laws in a range of European companies and also how European addresses are formatted.


In addition, Abacus chairman/CEO Tony White has long been familiar with VNU because before the founding of Abacus Direct, he helped start one of the first consumer lists in the UK, which was later purchased by VNU.


Abacus Direct Europe will begin by focusing on developing a database in the United Kingdom and expects to move into Germany and France in the next two or three years.
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