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WPP buys integrated marketing firm Direct.com

LONDON – WPP Group has bought a 50.5% stake in US integrated marketing firm Direct.com, which will become part of JWT's global relationship marketing network RMG Connect Worldwide.

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Based in Miami, Direct.com provides a range of integrated marketing services from direct marketing and consulting to web, technology development, and merchandising to select global clients.

The nine-year-old company, which will retain its name, is led by CEO Lance Lazarus and creative director Douglas Fajardo, who will now report to RMG Connect Worldwide CEO Philip Greenfield.

For RMG Connect, the acquisition adds a successful senior management team, an extensive expertise in the technological world, and experience in Hispanic markets in Latin America and North America.

"I am extremely pleased to have Direct.com joining our family today. Since our first encounter, I have been fascinated by the company, the processes, and the culture built by Lance and Douglas. All their actions and decisions have only one aim: be more responsive to their clients' needs," Greenfield said.

Direct.com reported revenues of $8.5m for the year ended December 31, 2004 and had net assets of $0.7m as of that date.

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