UPDATE: DMA to Acquire Brazilian DM Institute

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NEW ORLEANS - On Monday night the DMA signed a letter of intent to


partner with IDBM, the Brazilian Institute for Database Marketing. In


effect, the DMA will run the Brazilian organization.


Signing ceremonies were held at the DMA International Council's


reception for foreign delegates and American members. H. Robert


Wientzen, CEO of the US DMA and Rubens Stephan, iDBM president, did the


honors.


The agreement had semantic problems involving the word


"acquisition," which has a different legal meaning in Portuguese than it


does in English. But the DMA is acquiring the Brazilian group and will


run it.


"Practically," Wientzen said, "we see this as a partnership with


the 110 companies who are members of the iDBM family." Legally the


Brazilian company will shrink until it is dissolved and the DMA takes


over its name and assets.


They include membership lists, telephone lines - "that's a very


unimportant asset down there," Wientzen said - employees, computers,


equipment and employees.


The DMA will then form a legal entity in Brazil.


iDBM has bustling conference business - their last event drew 500


attendees, big by Brazilian standards - which the DMA clearly covets.


Wientzen said he would put more money and resources into developing the


company.


iDBM plays a large educational role in Brazilian direct marketing and


that is one sector the US DMA is anxious to develop. "We are very


interested in expanding DM education wherever we can help doing so."


No direct exchange of money is involved in the deal, Stephan said,


adding, "this is an opportunity for us to do things that we could not do


ourselves. The DMA will give us money and people to help us keep iDBM


alive."


He added that the DMA planned to put in a managing director, and would


probably pick a Brazilian for the job. The current board will remain as


"advisors."


The announcement caught the other two Brazilian DM associations - the


DMA and the Telemarketing group - unawares. They did not learn of the


deal until Sunday night.


Sources said the Brazilians were miffed at what they perceived as a


slight and griped openly at a lavish and exclusive party they threw on


Monday night in the house where Tennessee Williams wrote "Streetcar


Named Desire."


Europeans weren't pleased either. They have long suspected the DMA's


"imperialist" ambitions. Several of them said they would oppose any


American aggrandizement and the implicit poaching of their membership.


Wientzen denied the charges and the suspicion. "We are interested in


strong DMAs around the world. We don't intend to replace them. We are


not predatory. We need them to lobby their governments to keep direct


marketing free.


"We are very much interested in international education and we don't see


that interest as being competitive." And he said the move into education


would not shrink the role of the International Federation of Direct


Marketing Associations (IFDMA).


"They're a policy making group. We want to help grow organizations and


give them stronger capabilities, not diminish them."
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