Dimac Merges Units Into New Agency

DMW Worldwide was launched this week with more than 200 clients, 345 employees, $80 million in revenues and $150 million in capitalized billings.

The new agency was formed by combining Dimac Direct offices in St. Louis and Boston and Dimac-owned agencies The McClure Group, Philadelphia, and Wilcox & Associates, New York, into a unified direct marketing company. The remaining Dimac units, including mainly print and production operations and two database agencies, will become part of Dimac Production. A Houston-based telemarketing unit will be spun off.

“Previously the [Dimac] direct marketing agencies were separate stand-alone sister companies. Now we are combining our services into one to add depth,” said Thomas R. McClure, former chairman/CEO of The McClure Group, who will assume those titles with DMW Worldwide. “The big thing is that we decided to separate the print and production from the direct marketing side of the business.”

The decision to restructure the business came as a result of the sale of Dimac by parent company The News Corp. to McCown De Leeuw & Co. in May.

“In the first meeting of the new staff, it was decided that there would be a separate production side and that the real opportunity for growth would not be as a consolidated company, it would be with these two types of services separate,” McClure said.

The relationship to the printing and production side of the business will now be that of separate sister companies, he said, and those services will be competitively bid. Among the benefits of the new structure is that the four offices of the new DMW all have complementary areas of specialization, McClure said.

The Philadelphia office, which had been home to the McClure Group and will serve as headquarters of the agency, specializes in insurance and health care. Warren Hunter will become president of that office. The New York office, formerly Wilcox & Associates, is weighted toward clients in retail banking and financial services and will specialize in transition marketing for bank mergers and acquisitions. It will continue to be run by Bob Wilcox. The Boston office, run by Tom Hurley, focuses on fundraising and membership organization marketing, and the St. Louis office handles business-to-business clients. Marcia Piacentino will be president of that office.

The new company plans to work more collaboratively to broaden its services in all locations by sharing expertise among the offices. In addition, it's in the process of studying new industries to target. Overall, the agency aims to double in size in the next three years. As far as physical changes, there have been no layoffs. The St. Louis office is seeking new facilities, however, because it shared facilities with Dimac's production operations.

DMW's clients include Microsoft, Xerox, Blockbuster, Chase Manhattan Bank, NationsBank, Barnes & Noble, AAA, Cellular One, more than 50 Public Broadcasting Services stations and dozens of Blue Cross/Blue Shield organizations.

Although the agency launched last week, its formation will be formally celebrated at the DMA fall conference in San Francisco next week.

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