Rosemary Smith, managing director of RSA Direct, succeeds Charles Ping as chairman of the Direct Marketing Association and vows to concentrate on the environment, engagement and expertise. Ben Langdon's Digital Marketing Group buys digital agency Cheeze and data firm Jaywing. Meanwhile, the new business year kicks off with wins for Chemistry Communications, which scoops the Emirates Airline's DM account, 20:20 London's win of vodka brand Stolichnaya's global digital account and TNT Post, which bags a £90m three-year deal for bills and statements from BT - the biggest contract win since postal deregulation began.
Julie Constable resigns as head of DM at agency intermediary the AAR to join rival firm Agency Insight. Tullo Marshall Warren wins the pan-European direct marketing account for the Financial Times, beating WWAV Rapp Collins and Harrison Troughton Wunderman. TalkTalk appoints WDMP to its business-to-business account following a pitch against Tequila\London. Orange begins a review of its DM arrangements.
The AAR replaces Julie Constable with Royal Mail media consultant Tony Spong. The managing director of Experian's international marketing services division, David Coupe, resigns, not to be replaced. On the acquisition trail are agencies Partners Andrews Aldridge and Gyro International, which buy, respectively, Davison Smiley-Jones and Cicero Marketing Communications.
The £35m British Gas direct marketing account is awarded to OgilvyOne after a final shoot-out against Rapier - and amid claims, vehemently denied by British Gas, that agencies found the pitch too onerous. John Hiney, former managing director of Harrison Troughton Wunderman, is appointed managing director of Carlson Marketing UK. Print, production and mailing firms Direct Solutions International and Corporate Mailing Matters merge to become dsiCMM Group.
A month of agency turmoil as Steve Harrison, the worldwide creative director of Wunderman and co-founder of Harrison Troughton Wunderman, quits the business. Steve Barton announces he is to leave Keevill Barton Kershaw, sounding the death knell for the agency, which folds at the end of the summer. Client-side, First Direct appoints Collette Nugent as its head of direct marketing, replacing Liz Carruthers who joined data management agency Lateral Group earlier in the year.
Over-50s direct specialist Saga and home and breakdown services provider the AA announce they are to merge in a £6.15bn deal. Between them, the two companies have 23 million names on their customer databases.
Harrison Troughton Wunderman wins the Orange account, quashing rumours that it is about to close. Rapier scoops the entire Lloyds TSB direct marketing account following a pitch against Propaganda and incumbents Tullo Marshall Warren and Partners Andrews Aldridge.
Harrison Troughton Wunderman says it is to merge with Wunderman Automotive to form a new agency, Wunderman, following Steve Harrison's departure in May.
New DM specialist media planning agency Trinity, backed by agency Kitcatt Nohr Alexander Shaw, opens for business. Ben Dixon, chief executive of contact centre company LBM, leaves and hands the reins to chief operating officer Mark Bates. The Institute of Direct Marketing celebrates its 20th anniversary with a glitzy party at the London Hilton.
WWAV Rapp Collins wins a £10m brief for a new product launch from US Insurance giant AIG. David Harris, former creative partner and founder of Lida, becomes Wunderman's new executive creative director, the first senior appointment at the agency since the HTW name was axed. Data services company Experian promotes Duncan Painter to vice-president of corporate development, from where he will head the launch of its global marketing services.
One year on from the media onslaught of DM's annus horribilus, the DMA, ISBA, the Advertising Association and the IPA announce that they are formulating a joint PR strategy for the industry. Natasha Hill becomes direct marketing director of Cancer Research UK, succeeding Anthony Newman, who was promoted to the new role of director of supporter relationship management. British Airways awards the direct and digital account for its Asia Pacific region to OgilvyOne.
The proposed takeover of data services company Acxiom by investment firms Silver Lake and ValueAct Capital collapses after the buyers pull out, as company leader Charles Morgan announces his retirement. Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel's award-winning creative director Mark Buckingham leaves the agency to join Publicis Dialog in the same role. After reaching an agreement with the Royal Mail over pay and pensions, the Communications Workers Union ends its series of strikes. Lifestyle data provider DLG completes a refinancing deal that gives its management team majority control of the £72.5m firm. Reader's Digest appoints Williams Lea in a £1bn print procurement deal that includes DM and spans 19 countries.
At Marketing Direct's Profiting from Green DM conference (see left), Defra urges the industry to consider including notification of the MPS and 'recycle' logos on all direct mail. DMA chair Rosemary Smith calls for the mandatory inclusion of 'recycle' logos on printed DM material to be written into the association's code of practice.
Online banking brand First Direct reviews its £8m DM account, which has been with Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel since 1991. David Watson leaves the agency - the last founding partner to go. The Telegraph reviews its £8m DM and advertising accounts following marketing director Katie Vanneck's departure in July to join Times Media.