WPP Group Buys 20 Percent of Brierley & Partners

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WWP Group, plc., London, the world's second-largest advertising and communications service group, has reached an agreement to purchase a 20 percent stake in Brierley & Partners, Dallas, a $220 million independent direct marketing agency specializing in the design and management of customer loyalty programs.


"A strategic partnership with WPP gives us access to a vast array of resources that will allow us to respond to the rapidly growing worldwide demand for customer loyalty programs," president Hal Brierley said in a published statement. "The WPP investment will fund the continued expansion of the agency's electronic media capabilities -- capabilities that are allowing our clients to dramatically lower the cost of maintaining direct customer relationships."


Brierley & Partners, which designed the Hilton Honors program in 1987 and the Hertz #1Club gold in 1988, has served as the agency of record for United Airlines' Mileage Plus program since 1990.


According to Martin Sorrel, CEO of WPP Group, the relationship with Brierley and Partners will extend both agencies capabilities outside the United States into Europe, Asia and Latin America.
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