Alliance Data Acquires ICOM

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Alliance Data, a Dallas-based provider of transaction, credit and marketing services, said yesterday that it acquired ICOM Information and Communications Inc. for an undisclosed sum.


Bryan Pearson, president of the Air Miles Reward Program, Alliance Data's consumer loyalty program, said several things made ICOM appealing.


"We see it as really advancing our market position in the loyalty marketing services space," he said. "The acquisition itself allows us to access and increase some relationships that we have in some sectors -- specifically, the consumer packaged good sector, the pharmaceutical sector -- and introduces us a little more wholesomely to the direct response sector."


ICOM's services will boost Alliance Data's core strengths in database, consumer loyalty management, analytics and consulting, he said. Other Alliance Data businesses include direct response service provider Epsilon, consultancy Colloquy as well as its retail services division, which provides private-label credit cards.


ICOM, Toronto, provides customer acquisition and retention solutions through its Shopper's Voice consumer response surveys, lists, research and analysis, modeled data and e-mail and direct mail delivery services. Its clients, mainly consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical and direct mail marketers in the United States and Canada, rely on it as a source of consumer data, from existing prospecting lists to custom data gathering via ICOM's millions of surveys issued yearly.


ICOM clients include Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Unilever, Capital One Financial Corp., America Online, Mutual of Omaha, Meredith Corp., Reader's Digest Association, J.D. Power and Associates and Royal Bank of Canada.


The ICOM TargetSource self-reported consumer marketing database has information about 26 million consumers and 15 million households in the United States, plus 2 million Canadian households.


ICOM president Catherine McIntyre will stay with the company under Alliance Data and will report to Pearson. Investment bank Petsky Prunier LLC, New York, advised ICOM in the deal.


Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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