**DMA Acquires Association of Direct Marketing Agencies

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The Direct Marketing Association, New York, announced yesterday that it acquired the Association of Direct Marketing Agencies.

The acquisition -- DMA's sixth since October 1998 -- will be formally completed Jan. 22, 2001. At that time, ADMA will merge with DMA's Agency Leaders Group and become a newly created DMA council, the Direct Marketing Agency Council. ADMA President and DMW Worldwide president Warren Hunter will chair the new council.

The acquisition will create an industry-wide advocate to ensure even stronger, more comprehensive national representation and services for direct marketing agencies, the DMA said.

"Direct marketing advertising expenditures now represent more than half -- 56.5 percent -- of total U.S. advertising spending, which are projected to be $339.3 billion in 2000," said DMA president & CEO H. Robert Wientzen. "This acquisition will help grow direct marketing by combining the expertise behind the best direct marketing agencies throughout the country with DMA's information, representation and educational services as the consumer and business-to-business marketplace becomes ever more dynamic."

ADMA, founded in 1970, is led by a volunteer board and consists of 45 paid members from some of the top direct marketing agencies in the country -- half of which are also DMA members. ADMA held three meetings each year and a series of educational activities and networking events.

ADMA will be dissolved as a free-standing association and its functions will be merged into The DMA. Members of ADMA will become DMA members with all rights and obligations of DMA members. Agencies that are members of both The DMA and ADMA will continue to pay their DMA dues. Any current ADMA dues will go toward their membership in the newly created Direct Marketing Agency Council. Members will be required to comply with The DMA's Privacy Promise within six months and follow The DMA's Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice.

"Traditional direct marketing agencies are disappearing," Hunter said. "They are being replaced by multi-format and hybrid service companies that combine traditional direct marketing methods with interactive and database elements. As a result of this merger, ADMA members and DMA's Agency Leaders Group will experience enhanced member benefits, including a more powerful voice within the advertising community and an arsenal of resources needed to survive in this evolving marketplace."

DMA Senior Vice President of Councils and Affiliates Michael Faulkner, CAE, said the DMA's most recent 'Economic Impact Study' shows that overall media spending for direct marketing initiatives reached an estimated $191.6 billion in 2000 -- up 8.5 percent over 1999's, "as direct and interactive marketing expenditures, sales and employment continue to grow, The DMA must also rise to meet the challenges confronting agencies, which is a vital segment. The new Direct Marketing Agency Council will provide a much-needed forum for direct marketing agencies."

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