*London DM Fair Picks Up After Slow Start

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LONDON -- After a slow start yesterday morning, the 21st London international Direct Marketing Fair picked up speed in mid-morning as the aisles began to fill up with visitors.

While first day figures will not be available until today, the turnout promised to eclipse last year's record of 12,000 visitors from 40 countries.

The number of foreign exhibitors increased visibly with IBM one of the most important newcomers to the show. Big Blue had a stand here for the first time and was pushing innovative new DM methodologies.

Worldwide Media, a major British list company that maintains a strategic alliance with the Lake Group in the U.S., said it had won McGraw Hill's worldwide list business outside the U.S.

The company has also entered into a strategic partnership with Meiller Druck, a growing international German DM company, with Worldwide Media moving its Germans operations in Meiller's German headquarters building. Meiller is a major exhibitor here with a large stand pushing the company's British printing products.

International representation is up more than 25 percent, Reed Exhibition companies, the organizers of the show, announced.

Other newcomers included the U.S. DMA, which sent international vice president Charles Prescott to London to staff the association's booth. Prescott said he hoped the stand would boost foreign interest in the DMA's U.S. shows.

24/7 Media Inc., which bought a U.K.-based company earlier this year, had a stand as 24/7 Europe, and was promoting its global expertise in setting up Web sites and selling advertising for them.

First day seminars seemed more crowded than in previous years. A session on the U.K.'s new privacy law, based on the European Union's data protection directive, drew a standing room only crowd for Colin Fricker, U.K. DMA's chief legal officer.
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