Agency News: Meredith Buys L.A. Interactive Shop O'Grady Meyers

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Magazine publisher Meredith Corp. bought O'Grady Meyers, a Los Angeles interactive marketing agency doing customer relationship marketing for major fast food, consumer packaged goods and healthcare marketers.

The purchase is an answer to demands from Meredith clients for quantifiable data-driven programs. The media giant's Meredith Integrated Marketing division will rely on interactive CRM as an area of focus for future business. Sales terms were not disclosed.

"They specialize in online CRM, and we specialize in offline CRM," said Wendy Riches, executive vice president at Meredith Publishing Group, New York. "We have always outsourced CRM work in the past, and now we're bringing it in-house."

Founded in 1993, O'Grady Meyers offers interactive strategy, Web site development, viral marketing, online media and promotions. It is interactive agency of record for Nestle USA brands and divisions like PowerBar, Nestle Infant Nutrition, Nestle FoodServices, Buitoni and Carnation Instant Breakfast.

The acquisition aims to pull clients to the expanded Meredith Integrated Marketing, an 80-person unit serving 30 clients including The Home Depot Inc., DaimlerChrysler, DirecTV, Hyundai and Procter & Gamble Co.

 

"This puts us in a position to deliver marketing services programs that blend online and offline seamlessly," Ms. Riches said.

 

Respond2 Bolsters Interactive With New Media Unit

 

Respond2 Communications Inc., an independent direct response television agency, opened a division focused on emerging technologies but with the same ROI focus.

The Respond2 new media division will offer services like search engine marketing, viral marketing, online media planning and buying, video, podcasting, blog management and online product placement. Projects involving companies like Sony, TiVo and Amazon are already complete.

"We haven't been as strong as I thought we should be in Web management and optimization, so we're really beefing up in those areas," said Tim O'Leary, CEO of Respond2, Portland, OR.

Mario Schulzke and Monica Simmons will lead the division. The agency looks to hire more programmers and Web management staff.

"Mario's got to beef up on capabilities in those [interactive] areas, and then the other charge is to take our core capability in television and spread that into all the new ways that people are watching television, whether they're watching on a computer screen, iPod or cell phone," Mr. O'Leary said.

"We can take our creative and media methodology from DRTV and spread it into these new formats," he said.

 

BBDO NY Wins BBC World News' U.S. Launch

 

BBC World Ltd. tapped BBDO New York to handle the launch by month's end of its 24-hour BBC World News channel in the United States.

The broadcaster uses AMV BBDO in London to handle advertising there.

BBC World's award comes soon after it signed a cable operator deal with Cablevision and three months after a distribution partnership deal with Discovery Communications.

Tasks include branding, awareness and possibly direct and online work.

Weber Shandwick will handle public relations. Mediaedge:cia is responsible for media buying and planning.

 

2006 Echo Judges Wanted

 

The Direct Marketing Association's International Echo Awards Committee seeks direct marketers to serve as judges for the upcoming 2006 Echo awards.

These senior executives should have more than seven years' experience in DM and familiarity with all pertinent channels. Candidates should have at least three years' experience in a single industry category.

Initial panel judging will be conducted May 16-18 in New York. Semifinal judging will be held in the same city June 20-22.

For more details, please visit http://dma-echo.org/2006/judges.jsp or reach Barbara Parker at bparker@the-dma.org.

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