Catalina to End One to One Direct Co-op Mail Program

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Catalina Marketing Corp. will stop its One to One Direct co-operative mail program in 2004 after monthly mailings for eight years.

"Over the past several months, due to the special aspects of One to One Direct and the trends and needs of the industry and marketplace, we were not able to attain the scale both we and our clients needed to yield significant impact," said Mike Hendry, corporate senior vice president of Catalina Marketing and president of the direct marketing services arm.

He would not disclose the names of clients affected nor the amount of business it comprised.

One to One Direct encompasses targeting based on purchase behavior, combining multiple incentives from different manufacturers. Individualized and customized packages are mailed to the top shoppers of the nation's leading supermarket chains.

"It's important to understand that as the direct marketing services division of Catalina Marketing, we've never defined ourselves as a co-op marketer," Hendry said. "Co-op direct mail programs are just one solution that we offer to meet our clients' needs and objectives."

The decision to end One to One Direct is unrelated to the company's decision made July 15 to delay filing its annual report for fiscal 2003 ending March 31.

Earnings for last fiscal year, this first quarter and the rest of the year will be restated due to accounting issues within its Catalina Health Resource business unit. The company said revenue from last year will be shifted to this year's accounts.

Squelching market rumors, Hendry said there were no plans to replace co-op mail with solo mail. The alternative option of a solo direct mail campaign lets the manufacturer carry the message on its own, but it lacks co-op's benefit of shared program costs.

"It all comes down to the program objective, impact, cost and targeting," he said. "By giving our clients options, we're not limited them to cookie-cutter solutions."

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