AN EYE FOR RESEARCH: LOWE, MOORE REFINE STRATEGIC PLANNING VIA IRIS VENTURE

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Direct marketing agency Lowe Fox Pavlika has formed a joint venture with Erard Moore Associates, a market research and data analysis company, that marries market research, strategic planning and database analysis.

The new entity is called IRIS because it represents "the inner eye of strategic planning," said Holly Pavlika, exec VP-executive creative director at Lowe Fox Pavlika.

"IRIS is a new strategic approach to planning," said Neil Fox, chairman-CEO of Lowe Fox Pavlika.

"The idea of bringing research in line with data analysis is something we've practiced on a less formal basis for years," Mr. Fox said.

STUDY CONSUMER BUYING HABITS

Mr. Moore said the new entity will study consumer buying habits through various forms of research, including one-on-one interviews, as well as identify the best customer prospects for clients through data analysis.

IRIS will serve Lowe Fox Pavlika clients including Mercedes-Benz of North America, Sun Microsystems and Mutual of New York.

Some clients already have had the chance to take advantage of Lowe Fox Pavlika's more formal collaboration with Riverside, Conn.-based Erard Moore Associates. IRIS is "a facility we're able to use to help us mine our data and information about our customers," said Bill Hurley, manager of new media and relationship marketing for Mercedes-Benz. "It helps give us insight into what our customers are doing."

IRIS will be located at Lowe Fox Pavlika's headquarters in New York and initially will employ 15 people. Mr. Moore will assume the title of president of IRIS.

RCN TAPS LOWE

Lowe Fox Pavlika, formed last January when Fox Pavlika & Partners was merged into Lowe Direct to become the direct marketing subsidiary of Lowe & Partners/ SMS, also announces today that RCN Corp., Princeton, N.J., has chosen the shop as its first direct marketing agency of record.

The business includes customer acquisition, customer relations marketing, cross-selling, relationship marketing and database design. RCN's general ad agency is Angotti, Thomas, Hedge, New York.

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