Grey E Merges With Grey Direct NY

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Grey E Marketing merged with Grey Direct New York in a move to better integrate online and traditional direct marketing at Grey Global Group's DM unit.


The merger comes 11 years after Grey Direct began offering interactive services. Steve Carbone will head the Grey Direct New York office as president, a title he held at Grey E Marketing.


"I think our movement to merge operations is also an indication of how the soul of direct marketing is becoming more rooted in the online world," said Larry Kimmel, chairman/CEO of Grey Direct, New York. "Keyword search spending has quadrupled in the past year. Keyword is direct marketing at its purest. At the same time, banner ads -- the awareness vehicle that launched online advertising -- have progressively declined in importance."


Grey Direct is a wholly owned subsidiary of agency holding company Grey Global Group. The holding company is up for sale. Clients include GlaxoSmithKline, Cendant, Xerox Corp., United Airlines, Oracle Corp., Adobe Systems and BellSouth.


Business considerations played a role in restructuring Grey Direct, but market factors also were part of the equation.


"Consumers don't think of online or offline in their purchase decisioning, either in business-to-consumer or business-to-business," Kimmel said. "As such, it doesn't make sense for marketers to organize themselves in that way anymore, particularly if you can find a work population that's savvy in both the online and offline arenas."


Grey Direct is celebrating its 25th anniversary.


"Too many people believe that direct marketing means effective DRTV, direct mail, e-mails, online," he said. "That's not the way Grey Direct is thinking now. We're establishing a new hierarchy of communications based on their efficiency, including new, more novel techniques, and will work to build that into our work processes to enhance client ROI."


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