DDB Germany's holding company buys True North agency

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Hamburg -- COM Communications, DDB Germany's holding company, has bought Hamburg-based direct marketing agency Bozell Direct Friends from True North Communications after nine months of negotiations. The agency will be merged with COM Communications' existing direct marketing shop, Fritsch Heine Rapp Collins, and the new set-up will be rebranded Fritsch Heine Rapp Collins and Direct Friends. Its $21 million-plus gross income is derived from clients such as Sony Europe, DHL Worldwide Express, Dresdner Bank and Electrolux (from Fritsch Heine Rapp Collins)and Direct Friends' Bertelsmann Book Club, Great Universal Stores, Amway and Westfalia. Direct Friends' specialty is in the catalog sector. The sale price is undisclosed. Ramesh Rajan, exec VP of True North, says Bozell Direct Friends didn't fit into the network after the merger of Bozell and FCB at the end of 1999. FCB's global direct marketing agency is FCBi. Georg Schumacher and Michael Klein, both partners in Direct Friends, remain with the new agency, whose CEO is Otfried A. Fritsch.

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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