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Meredith Continues Marketing Division Build-Up with Purchase of Two Companies

By FOLIO: Staff

Meredith Corp. has acquired two interactive marketing firms: Genex, a Los Angeles based firm that serves clients such as Honda, Toyota, Citigroup and KB Home; and New Media Strategies, a Washington-D.C. based company whose clients include Coca Cola, ABC, AT&T, Ford, Sony and Unilever.

Terms of the acquisitions were not disclosed and the company does not expect the purchases to have a material effect on its 2007 financial performance. The acquisitions continue the company's build-up of its business-to-business, custom media unit, Meredith Integrated Marketing. In April of last year, the company bought O'Grady Meyers, an interactive marketing services firm that, like Genex, focuses on customer relationship marketing. New Media is considered an interactive, "word-of-mouth" marketing company.

Last year, the company partnered with Idearc Media, which was Verizon's former "yellow pages" custom publishing division and is now a publicly held, stand-alone company, to publish Solutions at Home, a quarterly custom magazine and Web site targeting affluent home-owners. The publication was mailed to 900,000 residences last year and will increase its circulation to 2.5 million homes this year, said Randy Roush, executive director for strategy and product development at Idearc.

The publication, which uses Meredith's editorial content and Idearc's direct mailing lists, features custom advertising and inserts from home improvement companies. "Meredith will tell you, like a lot of publishing companies, they're having a hard time keeping national advertisers in their magazines," Roush said, during an ABM-sponsored breakfast Wednesday. "And a lot of times the hockey stick comes in, in the last quarter. It's the same thing for us in the yellow pages business. Advertisers are not making their buying decisions quickly so we have to look for other ways to reach them."

By FOLIO: Staff

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