DIMAC TO COMBINE FOUR DIRECT SHOPS UNDER DMW BANNER: RESTRUCTURING INTENDED TO GAIN GREATER VISIBILITY FOR AGENCY UNIT

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Dimac Corp. in October will consolidate its agency businesses and spin off the combined unit.

The $400 million direct marketing company will merge Dimac Marketing Corp. divisions in St. Louis and Boston with sister agencies Wilcox & Associates, New York, and McClure Group, Wayne, Pa.

The new operation, to be called DMW Worldwide, will have billings of $150 million.

"As long as the agencies were tied to Dimac, some clients saw only the production side of the equation," said Thomas McClure, chairman-CEO of the new DMW and the founder of McClure Group.

The agencies needed greater visibility, he said.

POSITIONED FOR GROWTH

"Now we can both [agency side and production side] grow our businesses. It positions everyone for growth," said Mr. McClure, who added that there still will be "shared resources in creative and account services, and print production service, available to all our clients."

He emphasized that both units will be able to pursue business independently, as well as pitching together.

Investment banker McCown De Leeuw & Co. acquired Dimac Marketing Corp. and AmeriComm Holdings, a custom envelope, label and mail-services company, four months ago in separate transactions valued at $450 million, forming the parent Dimac Corp.

David De Leeuw, managing director of McCown De Leeuw, said the company is aggressively seeking growth in the advertising and data management arenas.

"There's greater clarity in the marketplace in what we're trying to do in the advertising world," he said in explaining the separation of the merged marketing agencies from production-oriented operations.

Mr. De Leeuw added that it makes more sense for the various agencies to "work together, utilize their various strengths and coordinate their efforts."

RANGE OF SERVICES

The new DMW will offer strategic planning, creative design, database marketing and management, research, film and broadcast capabilities, fulfillment, telemarketing, media management and interactive media.

Current clients include Advanta, America Online, Barnes & Noble, Blockbuster Video, Microsoft Corp., NationsBank, Rodale Press and Staples.

It will have offices in Boston, New York, St. Louis and Wayne, Pa.

Dimac Marketing Corp. ranked eighth in Advertising Age's list of marketing services companies based on 1997 U.S. gross income (AA, April 27).

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