W2 Group Invests in One to One

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W2 Group Inc. made an undisclosed minority investment in One to One Interactive, a Boston agency with clients such as Qualcomm, GlaxoSmithKline's Advair and Flovent, State Street Bank, Unisys, Berlex and Novo Nordisk.


The deal makes W2 Group founder Larry Weber chairman of One to One Interactive. Weber founded Thunderhouse, an agency he sold to McCann-Erickson, as well as WeberShandwick, the world's largest public relations agency.


With the latest investment, One to One joins W2's network, which includes PR firm Racepoint Group, Web log monitor Digital Influence Group and ThirdScreen Media, an ad network for cell phones with clients like Dunkin' Donuts.


"All W2 is trying to do is build an ecosystem of next-generation marketing services," Weber said from his Waltham, MA, headquarters. "What W2 is about is trying to focus on the 150 chief marketing officers among Fortune 500 companies who are looking for game-changing marketing applications."


Weber's next investment is to be in healthcare marketing.


Founded in 1997, One to One Interactive offers online marketing services focusing on financial services, life sciences and the technology/media/telecommunications disciplines. Ian Karnell, previously CEO of One to One, is now its president. His cofounder and brother, Jeremi Karnell, is chief marketing officer. Becoming part of W2 made sense to them as they look to expand.


"We benefit by the ability to collaborate and integrate with other parts of W2," Ian Karnell said.


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