Newspapers are up in arms over the agreement the USPS filed with Valassis Communications, Inc., which aims to spawn $107 million in new revenue.
Eastman Kodak completely reorganized its business structure by aligning itself into two units that will absorb the company's film and photography segment and maximize its digital and print offerings.
Eastman Kodak is reportedly planning to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks after financial struggles and attempts to sell off a portfolio of more than 1,000 digital photography patents.
Printer Quad/Graphics signed a $135 million multi-year agreement with long-term partner Bluestem Brands on Dec. 12.
Paper producer NewPage Corp. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on September 7 to ease its debt restructuring.
Printer RR Donnelley & Sons Co. has acquired Sequence Personal, a New York-based custom publishing and advertising-personalization company.
Fourth quarter 2010 net sales in RR Donnelley's US print and related services division grew by 5.3% year-over-year to $2 billion. The Chicago-based company's US printing business saw net sales increase 1.3% for the full year to $7.5 billion.
RR Donnelley & Sons Co. said January 4 that it has acquired real estate marketing services company 8touches.
Printer Quad/Graphics has created a commercial and specialty print division, combining the recently acquired HGI Company operations with those of its magazine, catalog and book-printing business.
Commercial printing company Quad/Graphics saw an operating loss of $23.7 million in the second quarter of 2010, as well as a net loss of $35.6 million. The company, which closed its acquisition of Worldcolor July 2, saw an operating profit of $8.2 million for Q2 2009 but a net loss of $7.2 million for the same period.
Now that Quad/Graphics' acquisition of Worldcolor is complete, Quad is beginning the integration portion of the deal.
Worldcolor has partnered with Kodak and Muller Martini to create the FastBook Digital printing system for short-run books. The platform will be eventually used to produce versioned and variable magazines, catalogs and high-end direct mail.
Quad/Graphics will print five of Hearst Magazines' consumer titles, Good Housekeeping; O, The Oprah Magazine; Harper's Bazaar; House Beautiful and Veranda, effective January 2011.
Apparel cataloger and retailer J. Crew signed a three-year contract extension with printer Quad/Graphics last month. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Quad/Graphics will add J. Crew's standalone title for its "Crewcuts" line of children's clothing to its duties.
Bottomline Ink, a Perrysburg, OH-based printer, acquired its in-state peer Bolt From The Blue on March 4. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Bottomline's goal is to add direct mail marketing to its transactional printing service-focused business.
Catalog, magazine and retail insert printer Quad/Graphics will purchase a minority interest in HGI Company, a commercial printer. Financial terms of the deal, announced March 1, were not disclosed.
Quad/Graphics plans to acquire rival print and digital services firm Worldcolor this summer, the two companies announced last week.
Document management and printing and production company Xerox reported fourth-quarter 2009 total revenues of $4.22 billion, down 3% year-over-year from 2008's $4.37 billion, on January 21. The company's full-year 2009 revenue was $15.18 billion, down 14% from $17.61 billion for all of 2008.
Direct mail product manufacturer Worldcolor will cut about 200 positions by the end of March in an effort to consolidate its Toronto-area magazine, catalog and in-line direct mail operations into one facility.
HP disclosed fiscal fourth-quarter net revenues of $6.5 billion for its Imaging and Printing Group, a 14% increase from the $5.7 billion recorded during the company's fiscal third quarter but a 14.8% decrease year over year from the $7.6 billion of last year's Q4. For FY 2009, HP reported net revenues of $24 billion for imaging and printing, a decrease of nearly 19% from the $29.6 billion reported last fiscal year.
HP, which includes consumer and business-to-business printing units, reported preliminary fiscal fourth-quarter revenues of $30.8 billion, a decrease of 8% from the year prior. The company disclosed that the revenue figure, up 12% sequentially, is a drop of only 5% when adjusted for the effects of currency. The company's fiscal fourth quarter ended October 31.
Following a test earlier this year, Ford is launching a variable data print strategy for its direct mail program that will result in consumers receiving more than 1 million pieces of relevant mail annually. The automaker is rolling out the program across its entire portfolio of extended service products, a process it expects to complete in the next six months. Ford hopes the more than 1 million pieces of annual direct mail will result in "an increase of tens of millions of dollars" in sales, said Mark Bardusch, national sales and marketing manager of extended service business at Ford.
Advanced Image Direct (AID) has patented Cloud2Mail, a variable data digital print platform that processes orders from the Web and prints four-color envelopes and letters simultaneously.
FedEx Office has completed the rollout of its Design & Print Center platform, which was announced in May. Working with commercial printer VistaPrint, FedEx Office has created a digital self-service tool for small business owners to create and order custom business cards, letterhead and marketing collateral. The service is available in the more than 1,100 FedEx Office stores either via an in-store kiosk or from the computer terminals available for customer use.
Looking to improve its position in the direct mail, transactional and transpromo markets, HP announced a technology alliance with RR Donnelley last week to develop digital printing solutions for inkjet-based digital presses.
HP and Pitney Bowes announced an alliance at the Print 09 trade show on September 11 through which Pitney will manage sales of the HP Inkjet Web Press for the transactional and trans-promotional print markets. Pitney will offer the product as part of the Pitney Bowes IntelliJet Printing System, which is used by large volume mailers. The system includes the HP T300 Color Inkjet engine, a high-speed Pitney Bowes mail finishing system, and a single service and support team.
HP has announced a series of relationships with marketers anxious to reach consumers with material they can print at home. In addition, HP has launched the HP APP Studio, a Web site where consumers can access print applications that connect a printer to the Web, without the need for a computer, so they can print movie tickets, coupons and other content.
HP reported net revenue declined 2% for its third fiscal quarter ended July 31 for a total of $27.5 billion. The company's net earnings totaled $1.6 billion for the quarter, down 19% year over year. Diluted earnings per share were 67 cents per share, down 16% from 80 cents per share last year. Printer unit shipments decreased 23%, with commercial printer hardware units down 42% and consumer printer hardware units down 16%.
In one of the first significant applications of transpromo techniques in the business-to-business arena, Sinclair Oil Corp. has chosen InfoPrint Solution Co.'s transpromo software to drive usage of a fuel and expense card for truckers. "This is significant to see relevant content being used in this way move into the b-to-b space," said Lee Gallagher, manager of direct marketing solutions at InfoPrint.
Direct mail production and printing services provider Johnson & Quin has acquired certain assets of Staples Print Solutions' direct mail division InteliMail. The deal brings Johnson & Quin customers in the financial services, retail and government arenas as well as additional bindery, lettershop and affixing capabilities.
Print service providers are responding to one of the most challenging economic environments ever by joining forces and expanding services to compete.
Ailing printing company Quebecor World has rejected RR Donnelley & Sons latest offer to acquire it and, instead, has decided to proceed with a reorganization plan currently underway as a result of bankruptcy proceedings. Quebecor World has said it could emerge from creditor protection by mid-July.
Schmidt has acquired the cooperative direct mail business of Solar Communications Inc., including Solar's collating assets and paper outer-wrap technology. "The business-to-consumer portion of our business has been growing significantly over the last few years and this acquisition provides a good opportunity to continue that growth and add some capabilities that we didn't have," said Jeff Winter, director of sales and marketing at Schmidt.
Archway Marketing Services, which provides fulfillment services, print management and business intelligence to businesses, has entered a deal to acquire the supply chain management division of Resolve. The deal is expected to close at the end of June. While the two companies have competed in the past on the business-to-business side on fulfillment of marketing and point-of-sale materials, the deal with Resolve brings capabilities in consumer-facing marketing materials.
HP has eliminated all advertising for its online marketing design services Web site MarketSplash and will shut down the site in September in order to relaunch it as a platform exclusively for HP customers soon after. The company is also looking at testing a program that will enable print service providers to offer design services through MarketSplash.
Cox Enterprises Inc. said it will sell its Tarboro, NC-based Saving Source Direct to MailSouth, headquartered in Helena, AL, in a deal expected to close May 26. The pending sale follows Cox Newspapers' 2008 announcement that it had placed all of its publishing assets in Texas, Colorado and North Carolina for sale.
RR Donnelley & Sons has expressed interest in acquiring all or substantially all of Quebecor World's assets and properties, and is offering to pay Quebecor debtors approximately $957 million cash and 30 million shares, valued at $394 million as of the closing price on May 11.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. reported net sales for the first quarter ended March 31 totaled $2.5 billion, an 18.1% decrease from the first quarter of 2008. The sales drop included a 3.5% negative impact from changes in foreign exchange rates and volume declines across substantially all product lines, as well as continued price pressure.
VistaPrint Limited and FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko's) have teamed up in a multi-year strategic alliance that has VistaPrint providing business stationery and marketing materials for FedEx Office's customers. In addition, FedEx will be a primary express carrier for VistaPrint's orders coming from its production facility in Windsor, Ontario, to locations in North America.
Direct marketing solutions provider Direct Group will be consolidating its direct mail, digital printing and fulfillment operations into one location over the remainder of this year and anticipates eliminating approximately 50 positions as a result. "We want to optimize our associates, equipment and facilities infrastructures," said Don McKenzie, president and CEO at Direct Group, of the move.
Quebecor World Inc. has signed a new multiyear agreement to print Forbes and related magazine titles, renewing a relationship that has been in place for more than 25 years. The agreement includes premedia and logistics services for Forbes, which has a circulation of more than 900,000 and is published 26 times per year on a bi-weekly basis. The agreement also covers the printing and distribution of ForbesLife and ForbesLife Executive Women, and related ancillary printing projects.
After reaching an agreement in principle on the key terms that will allow it to successfully emerge from creditor protection, Quebecor World Inc. said it expects to file a reorganization plan in Canada and the US by the end of April and emerge from creditor protection by mid-July.
While much of the printing industry anticipates the introduction of high-speed inkjet presses from Kodak, HP and other manufacturers later this year or next, last fall commercial printer RR Donnelley & Sons installed the first high-speed inkjet press developed at the company's own R&D center. "Where technology exists in the marketplace and it is available, we'll buy," said Mary Lee Schneider, chief technology officer at Chicago-based RR Donnelley.
Commercial printer Transcontinental reported consolidated totaled $604.1 million in the first quarter ended January 31, compared to $596 million during the same quarter in 2008. However, excluding acquisitions and the positive impact of paper prices and the exchange rate, the company said its consolidated revenues dropped 10%.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons is shutting down two printing plants and laying off the employees who work there, according to recent reports in the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press.Attempts to contact R.R. Donnelley via e-mail and telephone were unsuccessful. In light of the current economic conditions and the toll they are taking on the company's financial results, R.R. Donnelley is permanently shutting down its printing facility in Hillside, IL, according to the Chicago Tribune. All 118 people employed there are being let go.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. has signed a $175 million multi-year agreement with multi-channel merchant Orchard Brands to provide 100% of the retailer's catalog printing and postal logistics services. The deal renews and expands RR Donnelley's relationship with Orchard Brands.
R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. has been awarded a $500 million, multi-year agreement by Publishing Group of America. The deal renews and expands RR Donnelley's relationship with the publisher of titles such as American Profile, Relish and Spry. Publishing Group of America also provides custom publishing services. All future printing, logistics and premedia services are covered under the agreement.
Commercial printer RR Donnelley reported net sales in the fourth quarter of 2008 totaled $2.8 billion, down 9.5% from the previous year.
While there's no shortage of talk about how the recession is impacting print business at the DScoop annual conference in Orlando, FL, the bad economy doesn't seem to have impacted attendance. DScoop, which is a digital services cooperative of HP Indigo users and HP, is reporting record attendance for its fourth annual conference, with almost 1,300 people present. In addition, 69 companies are exhibiting in the Solutions Showcase.
Commercial printer Transcontinental has eliminated 1,500 jobs and introduced cost-cutting measures throughout Canada, the US and Mexico. The jobs were cut a result of the company's previously announced move to consolidate the operations of Transcontinental Direct USA Inc., as well as other factors.
Eastman Kodak Company will focus its investments in 2009 on core digital printing technologies such as consumer inkjet and the recently announced commercial Stream print heads, which are supposed to rival offset printing's reliability, productivity, cost and quality while offering the full benefits of variable-data digital output.
RR Donnelley has added several direct mail capabilities to its CustomPoint Web-to-print platform. The company introduced CustomPoint in 2006 to connect customers to its premedia, production, logistics and business services capabilities.
Looking to broaden its range of print and interactive communications offerings to retailers, printer Transcontinental Inc. has acquired print-to-Web provider Conversys Inc. Conversys specializes in the transformation of print marketing materials such as flyers and catalogs into rich, interactive Web content.
Eastman Kodak Company has agreed to acquire the scanner division of Böwe Bell + Howell. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The scanner division is a leading supplier of production document scanners to resellers, systems integrators and end users with locations in North America, Europe and Asia.
Commercial printer Quad/Graphics is reducing its production capacity to better match declining print demand and, as a result, will eliminate 5.6% of its domestic work force.
Media and marketing services company Valassis Communication Inc. filed a countersuit against paper manufacturer Fraser Papers LTD.
After an eight-year alliance, Premium Color Graphics Inc. and Hand Pack Inc. have merged to form Premium Color Group LLC, a full-service commercial and digital printer. All three principles, Mark Fitzgerald and John Watson of Premium Color Graphics and Andrew Griffin of Hand Pack, are managing partners of the new company.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, printer Transcontinental's consolidated revenues rose 6% for a total of $653 million. Net income decreased from $38.6 million to a loss of $94.2 million. On a per-share basis, it dropped from earnings of 46 cents to a loss of $1.17. Transcontinental reported consolidated revenues rose 4% for the 12-month period ended October 31 for a total of $2.43 billion. Net income declined from $120.6 million in 2007 to $7.9 million in 2008.
Mimeo.com has opened a new 75,000-square foot data center and Web-enabled print production and distribution facility in Newark, NJ. The company, which provides online, on-demand printing for business documents and marketing materials, began operations in Newark in September to meet the needs of its growing customer base, particularly in the Northeast.
In a move to complement its newly created marketing communications sector, printer Transcontinental has acquired custom publisher Redwood Custom Communications. Headquartered in Toronto and with offices in New York, Redwood is a full-service marketing and communications company offering custom publishing and branded content services for both print and digital platforms.
Printing and marketing services company VistaPrint has launched a campaign with Marine Toys for Tots, creating six custom-designed cards for the upcoming holiday season. Half of the proceeds from card sales will benefit the charity.
Vertis Inc. has successfully completed its prepackaged Chapter 11 plan and its merger with American Color Graphics this week. The new combined company, headquartered in Baltimore and unified under the Vertis Communications brand, has 100 locations worldwide and nearly 8,000 employees.
Focusing on how it will capitalize on the transformation of print from analog to digital, HP announced partnerships with MTV, MySpace and other brands at the company's annual Imaging & Printing Conference in San Diego last week.
HP executives focused on how the company will capitalize on what they called the transformation of print from analog to digital, and announced key partnerships with brands such as MTV, MySpace and others to help achieve HP's goals, at the company's annual Imaging & Printing Conference in San Diego.
Printer Transcontinental Inc. has acquired Rastar Inc., which specializes in interactive database marketing and variable data printing. Rastar's proprietary database tools help it plan, design and implement traditional and variable data acquisition and retention programs.
Vertis Communications has received confirmation of its reorganization plan from the US Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. Vertis said last month it would file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of its prepackaged reorganization plan to merge with competitor American Color Graphics.
Hewlett Packard said net revenue was up 10% for its fiscal third quarter ended July 31, reaching a total of $28 billion. The company's Imaging and Printing Group, however, demonstrated some weakness, with declines in hardware revenue and printer units shipped.
Quebecor World Inc. has renewed and extended its long-term partnership with Parade Publications to print 100% of Parade Magazine in the US. Parade, a division of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., is distributed across the continent in more than 400 Sunday newspapers and is read in the US by more than 71 million people weekly.
Printer Quad/Graphics laid off 100 of its employees on August 13. The employees were primarily based in the Sussex, WI, plant and mostly in administrative positions, though manager of corporate communications, Claire Ho, said some were in production support positions.
Managed print provider InnerWorkings Inc. has acquired print management firm Mikam Graphics. "We are confident that the InnerWorkings' platform will appeal to our current clients and will help us to build strong relationships with additional large publishers and retail catalogers," said Jeffrey Getelman, principal at Mikam Graphics.
Xerox Corp. revenue grew 8% for the three months ended June 30, for a total of $4.5 billion. "While the U.S. economy creates challenges for our business with large enterprises, we're seeing consistent positive performance in the small and midsize business market, with strong results from our developing markets and Global Imaging operations," said Anne M. Mulcahy, CEO and chairman at Xerox, in a statement.
Insert and direct mail printer Vertis Communications has announced that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as part of its prepackaged reorganization plan to merge with competitor American Color Graphics.
Hewlett-Packard said this week that it will be realigning its printing division, restructuring five business units into three. There will be no layoffs associated with the move, according to Alyson Griffin, director of worldwide influencer communications at HP.
Quebecor World Inc. has merged its US retail insert, catalog, Sunday magazine division and direct mail division into a new integrated marketing group.
Digital printing continues to gain weight as a direct marketing strategy; however, recent advancements in inkjet technology are also keeping this type of printing at the forefront.
Quebecor World Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its European operations to Hombergh/De Pundert Group, a Netherlands-based investment group, for approximately €133 million.
HP has signed a multimillion-dollar agreement with commercial printer Consolidated Graphics Inc. for the installation of as many as 36 HP Indigo digital presses.
The proposed merger between Vertis Communications and American Color Graphics is back on. The two printers announced plans to merge last summer with the goal of being able to better address the advertising insert and pre-media services marketplace.
Quebecor World Inc. said it will close one US facility and significantly downsize a Canadian facility as part of its three-year retooling program, resulting in the loss of approximately 700 full-time jobs. Earlier this month, Quebecor World said it will close its Magog, Quebec, facility, which produces magazines and retail inserts, resulting in a loss of approximately 300 full-time positions.
HP and Omnicom Group Inc. have formed a strategic relationship to develop a digital print supply chain expected to reduce printing costs and improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns for Omnicom's clients. The two companies plan to pilot the program with several multi-national brands in 2008.
Troubled printer Quebecor World Inc. is closing its Magog, Quebec, facility, which produces magazines and retail inserts for the US and Canadian markets. The company said in a statement that the closure is part of its global retooling and restructuring program begun three years ago.
The Economist has given Quebecor World notice that it may want to opt out of its printing contract when the agreement expires in September. No concrete decisions have yet been made, and both companies are in talks to extend the contract. The contract would have been automatically renewed had The Economist not given notice.
In what HP is calling its most extensive push into the graphic arts arena to date, the company recently unveiled a series of technologies and products intended to improve the speed and reduce the cost of digital printing.
In a move designed to enhance its national advertising programs, R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Pro Line Printing Inc., a privately held producer of newspaper inserts headquartered in Irving, TX, for $122 million.
Francois Olivier took over as president/CEO of printer Transcontinental this week, replacing Luc Desjardins, who had been with the company for eight years. Transcontinental announced last September that Olivier, a family member of company founder Remi Marcoux, would become the company's new leader following a selection process headed by independent members of the board.
News of paper mill closings continues to come in and the reason is clear, according to industry experts: The overall volume of printing is down. Bill Lamparter, president of printing industry consultancy PrintCom Consulting Group, pointed out that while the overall volume of direct mail is still rising, its growth is far from being at historical rates.
A Quebec Superior Court justice last Monday approved a motion to place commercial printer Quebecor World under Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) protection for 30 days, until February 20, according to published reports. The justice also authorized $1 billion in financing from Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley.
Variable-data printing and one-to-one marketing haven't been exploited to their full potential, according to Hewlett-Packard, which has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Exstream Software. The deal is expected to close in March.
Hewlett-Packard signed a definitive agreement to acquire Exstream Software earlier this week in a bid to improve its capability for one-to-one marketing.
In an effort to decrease the cost of its waste removal and reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills, direct mail and marketing firm PEP-Direct Inc. has partnered with biomass fuel manufacturer International Paper Products Corp.
Verso Paper Corp. has announced plans for initial public offering of its common stock and has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission to this effect.
Homeowners in Ohio are receiving regular personalized direct mail from their local Real Living real estate agent that may include a schedule of upcoming games for the Ohio State Buckeyes, lawn-care tips or seasonal recipes.
Catalog Choice, a new service created by the National Resources Defense Council, the National Wildlife Federation and the Ecology Center that lets consumers specify which catalogs they wish not to receive, made it onto the pages of several major newspapers upon its launch earlier this month. About 20,000 people have reportedly signed up for the service, opting out of receiving more than 50,000 catalogs.
Kodak has decided to end its corporate sponsorship of the Olympic Games. The Rochester, NY-based company will conclude its sponsorship as the official imaging sponsor of the Olympics following the 2008 Games in Beijing, where it will fully participate as a top sponsor.
The worlds of printing and marketing are inching closer together all the time. The latest example of this shift is the addition of tracking capabilities to XMPie's variable-data publishing software PersonalEffect.
Printing and marketing services company Vertis Communications has called off its proposed merger with American Color Graphics.
Many higher education institutions were early adopters of digital print, but it wasn't until recently that they really hit the books to take full advantage of this technology.
Print and production
As market dynamics evolve, printers are offering new services, including direct mail and collateral fulfillment, as part of a larger strategy. While the idea of one-stop shopping appeals, there are distinct advantages to working with fulfillment specialists, namely intergrations of variable digital printing (VDP), which customizes offers based on collected customer information.
Xerox Corp., Hewlett-Packard, Quark Inc. and Electronics for Imaging are among the first printing industry companies to incorporate the new Pantone Goe System as part of their offerings.
Company of the week
R2C creates, produces, distributes and measures messages that inspire and compel consumers to do something with a brand to drive commercial advantage. The full-service advertising agency specializes in creative, production, media, analytics and performance.
What's in our mailbox this month: fitness postcards from Retro Fitness, American Woman Fitness Centers, Union's United Taekwondo Academy, and Bally Total Fitness. (We're totally pumped.)
Social data can improve a brand's bottom line and customer relationships. Just ask brands Infiniti and Diamond Nexus.
Here are three must-have data sets that every marketer should include in his or her email strategy.