DIRECT: Grey Direct snaps up US database unit

Grey Advertising’s direct marketing arm, Grey Direct, is expanding its global relationship marketing capabilities by acquiring US database marketing company MarketData.

Grey Advertising’s direct marketing arm, Grey Direct, is expanding

its global relationship marketing capabilities by acquiring US database

marketing company MarketData.



It bought the company for an undisclosed sum last week and will merge an

existing unit, Grey Database Strategies, formed in 1997, with MarketData

to create a new subsidiary which will operate under the MarketData

brand.



Based in New York, it will have worldwide billings of dollars 25m

(pounds 15.5m) and have offices in Japan, Korea and Scandinavia. A

spokeswoman for Grey Direct said a UK office will open later this year,

but refused to give further details.



The combined company’s clients will include Grey’s Glaxo-Wellcome

Pharmaceuticals, Chase Manhattan Bank and Save the Children.

MarketData’s existing clients include Scandinavian bank Merita

Nordbanken.



George Wiedemann, chairman and chief executive of Grey Direct, which is

the world’s eighth largest direct marketing agency, with billings of

dollars 765m (pounds 472m), said the acquisition would ’better serve

client needs and anticipate the emerging globalisation of relationship

marketing for our multinational clients’.



Ken Lomansey, the current president of MarketData, will lead the new

company, while Michael Kryzston, MarketData’s president of market

knowledge, becomes president for North America. Hogan Lee will be

director of Asia/Pacific operations.



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