U.K. contract publisher partners with BBDO Germany

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LONDON -- U.K. customer magazines company Redwood Publishing has signed a partnership with BBDO Germany as part of a global expansion program under new International Publishing Director James McLeod. Within the next year, Redwood plans to set up another three operations in overseas markets, including the U.S.

The move to create Redwood Brand Publishing with BBDO Germany was a natural one, says Mr. McLeod, based on a shared parentage (Redwood is owned by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London), synergies and similar goals.

Redwood recruited Mr. McLeod earlier this year from the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, where he was advertisement director, to head its international division. Redwood plans to become "the leader in customer communications globally," via partnerships, acquisitions or start-ups.

"We have an established position [in a U.K. market now worth $419 million] and the logical next step is to export these skills abroad," Mr. McLeod says. Marketers across the globe are forced by growing competition to look for points of difference in their communication strategies, he adds. "We've proved conclusively that customer magazines are a superb way for clients to increase market share."

In some markets, communications companies "have an excellent understanding of strategy and science," he says. "But in terms of subtlety and sophistication, we have a lot to bring to the party."

The German tie-up is Redwood's second international partnership: early last year it inked a deal with consumer magazine and newspaper publisher Perskor in South Africa to create Redwood Marketing Services.

Redwood prints 110 million magazines a year for 16 clients, including Marks & Spencer, ICI Dulux paints and Volvo. Its magazines are produced in nine different languages for 35 countries. The company was set up in 1983.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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