- WPP Group, which owns the J Walter Thompson and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide advertising agency networks, has bought a 20 per cent stake in Los Angeles-based direct marketing agency, Brierley & Partners, for an undisclosed cash sum.
Founded in 1987, Brierley specialises in the design and management of customer loyalty programmes and was responsible for the Hilton HHonors and the Hertz #1Club Gold.
The agency has handled the United Airlines Mileage Plus programme since 1990 and most recently worked on the design and launch of the Blockbuster Rewards programme.
Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP Group, said: "We plan to help develop Brierley's capabilities outside the United States in Europe, Asia and Latin America using the combination of Brierley's product and sector knowledge and WPP's global networks. Customer loyalty is one of the fastest-growing facets of marketing communications and Brierley adds a key core competency to WPP."
Brierley & Partners claimed 1998 billings in excess of $220 million and in addition to Los Angeles it has offices in Dallas, Chicago, New York, London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.
Its clients include Blockbuster Entertainment, Epson America, Hertz, Hilton Hotels, Lufthansa German Airlines, Neiman Marcus, United Airlines, United Parcel Service and Vail Resorts.