Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer Bolsters DM

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Gerbig, Snell/Weisheimer, a leading independent agency in the Midwest, is focusing more on direct marketing services.

The Columbus, OH, shop now will actively seek DM clients as well as grow business from existing advertising accounts. Lydell Capritta's appointment as the agency's executive vice president of direct marketing reflects that new focus.

"I want to build it organically, getting more and more work from our clients, and then we also look outward to clients who just need direct marketing and not total integrated services," he said.

Direct services accounted for only 5 percent of agency billings at Gerbig, which is a subsidiary of inChord Communications.

Much of Gerbig's DM work comes from pharmaceutical clients such as Eli Lilly and Co., Genentech and AstraZeneca. But increasing clutter has forced healthcare players to intensify direct and interactive communications. The agency is looking to other categories as well.

"We're branching out into financial services, and we've got some work that we're doing with Corp. One, an association of credit unions," Capritta said.

Gerbig probably will boost staffing at some levels.

"We're going to hire in a very calculated fashion as the business comes," Capritta said. "Clearly we need to improve our database management, and probably in the healthcare services group we're going to beef up with some of the people who've grown up in the direct business."


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