Dickinson Starts Integrated Services Division

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Dickinson Direct, recently sold to Protocol Communications Inc., has created an integrated marketing services division to offer clients a comprehensive range of direct marketing services.

Clients of the Braintree, MA, agency can expect one-stop shopping for direct marketing needs. The division will offer strategic and creative development, list management, telemarketing, fulfillment, printing, imaging and Internet marketing.

"Our clients today want more than just stand-alone services," said Reed Dickinson, executive vice president of Dickinson Direct. "There needs to be a mechanism for pulling all of the services that we have into one integrated strategy. It's much more effective to start a marketing campaign from that premise."

The agency has hired Bruce McMeekin as managing director of the new integrated marketing services division. McMeekin spent five years at EMI Strategic Marketing, leaving the Boston firm as managing director. He also worked at Procter & Gamble Co., The Travelers Group and PNC Bank.

Founded in 1948 by Reed Dickinson's father, the agency last year posted revenue estimated at $30 million. Clients include Bose, AAA, Fidelity Investments, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Verizon, Genuity, Veritas, Travelers Insurance, Digitas and myteam.com.

In December, Dickinson Direct surrendered more than 50 years of independence through its sale to Protocol, an integrated direct marketing services firm in Danvers, MA. Reed Dickinson was president/CEO of Dickinson Direct before the sale and will continue to oversee the shop under the new arrangement.

Protocol, which is privately held, offers services such as pre-sales customer support, customer sales, market planning, fulfillment and data mining. These services are delivered via direct mail, inbound and outbound telephone and e-mail, online chats, voice identification and response and click-to-callback. The company has 5,000 employees at 21 offices nationwide. Protocol clients include Casio, Intuit, Shell Energy Services and Pitney Bowes.

Combined revenue last year for Protocol and Dickinson is estimated at $250 million.

Dickinson cited his agency's sale to Protocol as another reason for the new integrated services division.

"With all of the additional services now and the acquisition by Protocol, it's even more critical to have strategic integration of all of the services," he said.


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