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Wegener Direct Marketing lose top team to RDP

LONDON – Wegener Direct Marketing has lost three senior members of staff running the Elite Collection and The Information Service to rival Response Direct Publishing.

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RDP is to launch a competitor to the Elite Collection called The Gallery. The Gallery is an upmarket "cost per response" catalogue that targets affluent mail order buyers and is distributed by direct mail to selected households. It will feature up to 42 participating companies, and is due to launch in October. RDP will begin marketing The Gallery from the beginning of May.

Hein van Vroenhoven, who has left to join RDP, has had a career spanning eight years with Wegener in Europe and the UK, and was managing director for the last four years. He joins as general manager of the new operation. Justine Samouelle was the senior account director and Jane Rodger senior production manager, with nine and six years' experience with the company respectively, working on The Information Service as well as the Elite Collection.

As a result of acquiring this new team, RDP is expanding into new offices in Guildford, Surrey where the new operation will be based, but will retain its head office in Chelsea, where growth this year will take RDP to over £9m turnover.

Charles Boliston, managing director of RDP, said: "We have been actively looking to launch The Gallery for some time, to complement the Consumer Information Centre, the response catalogue that has grown massively over the last three years. As publishers of nine card deck titles and Travellers Oasis, the travel supplement, we have laid claim to becoming leaders in consumer lead generation in the UK. In 2003, we will be generating more than 2m enquiries for our clients."

Van Vroenhoven is currently still under contract and joins RDP in late May, while Samouelle and Rodger joined the company on April 28.

Launched in 1991, RDP is an independent company, owned and run by its directors, one of which is Colin Lloyd, former president of the Direct Marketing Association.

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