Affinion launches direct marketing arm

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Affinion Group has launched a full-service direct marketing division called Affinion Direct Response Group (ADRG).

The new group offers database analysis, predictive modeling, strategy consulting and creative development for direct marketing clients. It will leverage Affinion Group's telemedia capabilities and its print production team to create direct mail and telemarketing campaigns.

Company spokesperson Todd Smith explained the new division as a natural byproduct of the company's other work.

"We developed an in-house advertising company that was designed to provide the full-service resources you would need to launch effective direct marketing campaigns," Smith said.

ADRG will focus on serving financial services institutions and membership clubs û both industries in which the company already has experience.

"We target consumers that run the gamut from people right out of school - [members of] Generation Y and Generation X trying to get a foothold in careers - to retirees who have established themselves and have more discretionary income," Smith said. "We look for consumers who have been brought to us historically through our financial institutions looking to increase retention."

Though a major focus for ADRG is financial services, the company has also been establishing itself as a direct marketer of security products.

ADRG's in-house, full-service agency will be comprised of 180 employees. Its creative development team already manages more than 5,000 campaigns annually, and its global telemedia center places more than 40 million calls in 14 countries each year.

Affinion Group, ADRG's parent company, specializes in affinity marketing, particularly in the financial and loyalty program sectors. After combining all its companies, it re-branded as Affinion Group last year, and is working to build the integrated Affinion name. The Norwalk, CT-based company currently has more than 5,200 partners, including CompUSA, Kroger and Office Depot.

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