BLAU MAKING LONDON MOVE TO OVERSEE SHOP'S GROWTH: VETERAN OF DIRECT MARKETING WILL HELP LEAD EFFORTS FOR CLIENTS IBM, BRITISH TELECOM

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Peter blau began his career in direct marketing making $3 an hour, helping his father sell mail-order palm trees from their basement.

For dad, Barry Blau, the gig was a side job. By day, he worked at Ogilvy & Mather Direct Response in New York.

"I wrote the ads, opened the mail, stamped the checks and sorted the shipping labels," said the younger Mr. Blau.

He left his father's employ for college and a short-lived career as a journalist at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His father left O&M to start Barry Blau & Partners in 1978, and once again became his son's employer in 1980.

OFF TO LONDON

Now, Mr. Blau, 42, is packing his bags and heading to London to manage the company's worldwide expansion effort, and work at close range with two key accounts: the newly won British Telecom and IBM Corp.

Prior to his new assignment as exec VP and general manager-international for Blau Marketing Technologies, parent of Barry Blau & Partners, Mr. Blau was chief creative director and worked from the agency's Wilton, Conn., office, responsible for creative and marketing strategies for its network of five U.S. offices.

"We are both thrilled and sorry that he's moving to London, because Peter is one of the most talented and creative direct marketers around," said Ruth P. Stevens, director of the software group-worldwide direct marketing for IBM. "We're lucky to be associated with [Blau] partly because we get Peter on our business. Managing [our business] from London makes a great deal of sense for Peter and for us."

Mr. Blau said he and the agency also have much experience in the telecommunications industry to benefit British Telecom. Mr. Blau has 15 years' experience in deregulated telecommunications in the U.S., having worked on the accounts of MCI Communications Corp. as well as five of the original seven Baby Bells.

DEALING WITH DEREGULATION

"There's a great amount to lose [with deregulation just now occurring in the U.K.]. It's not just a matter of protecting [market share in long distance]. They also need to grow it," said Mr. Blau.

He'll be in charge of developing customer loyalty and customer acquisition programs for the tele-communications giant.

Those strategies will come from the U.K.-based joint venture Blau Tequila, formed by Blau and London-based Tequila Worldwide, an integrated marketing services company, to handle worldwide direct work for IBM.

"We've put together a network of agency offices with the Blau Tequila venture, and I'm responsible for making that work as well," said Mr. Blau.

There are 15 Blau Tequila offices in Europe, Africa and the Mideast.

Blau Marketing Technologies was acquired by Snyder Communications, Bethesda, Md., in December for $72 million. The senior Mr. Blau is now chairman emeritus.

"We're doing quite well in the new-business area. Under Snyder, we'll continue to grow," said Peter Blau, adding he's excited about the opportunity for new business abroad.

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