Euro RSCG Worldwide has snapped up the US’s second-largest
independent direct marketing agency, Devon Direct, to boost its
international below-the-line presence.
Under the agreement, the dollars 290 million-billing Devon Direct will
retain its name in the short term, and will be led by its founder and
chairman, Ron Greene. It will sit within the Sales Machine network -
which comprises the majority of Euro RSCG’s marketing services
operations worldwide - and eventually take its name.
The Devon Direct deal is expected to put pressure on the other Havas
network, Campus, which includes WCRS in the UK, as it has no coherent
Devon Direct has a presence in the UK and the Euro RSCG network hopes to
merge it with KLP Euro RSCG Direct.
Bob Schmetterer, the chairman and chief executive of Euro RSCG
Worldwide, said: ’Under Ron Greene’s leadership, Devon Direct’s growth
has been guided by a unique vision of the role that direct marketing can
play in the marketing mix, and an innovative, leading-edge approach that
has not only set the pace within its industry, but has had tremendous
influence on the dynamics of their clients’ markets.’
The acquisition is well timed as Euro RSCG’s US relationship with MCI is
thought to be under threat due to the company’s takeover by Sprint.
Ed Carter, Devon Direct’s owner, used to work at MCI and is thought
still to be close to the company.
However, a conflict is thrown up by this relationship, as Carter is
currently acting as a consultant for BT Cellnet.