KBM Group Acquires Marketing Direct, Inc.; Announces Launch of KBM Group Health Business Unit

Richardson, TX, December 8, 2010 - KBM Group, the global leader in knowledge-based marketing solutions, has agreed to acquire Marketing Direct, Inc. (MDI), the leading provider of agency services to the healthcare industry. MDI is an integrated marketing services company with expertise in strategy, design and execution of marketing campaigns, from go-to-market strategies and sales-lead conversion to media placement, primarily for the healthcare industry. The acquisition strengthens and broadens KBM Group's existing products and services for the healthcare market, augmenting the company's core capabilities with a wide array of agency services such as creative and media placement, including digital media channels.  Based in St. Louis, MO, MDI is a privately held company. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, and the acquisition is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. 

Founded in 1997, MDI has been ranked one of America's fastest-growing private companies by Inc. Magazine in its annual Inc. 5000 survey for 2008, 2009 and 2010. The company's growth has been driven by providing direct and interactive marketing services primarily to the healthcare industry, but the company has experience in retail and financial services as well. MDI's capabilities span marketing services end-to-end, including: consulting services, developing and optimizing direct market channels, facilitating the sales process through sales force automation, determining the best mix of online and offline media, performing analytics and testing to ensure results, developing creative campaigns from messages to branding, optimizing websites and online strategies, and media placement and execution.  Providing these multichannel marketing services to targeted industries has given MDI industry-specific expertise that has allowed it to help its clients acquire millions of customers and engage them to improve healthcare outcomes. 

With the combined strength of the acquisition, KBM Group is also officially announcing the launch of KBM Group: Health Services, a new business practice focused on improving how companies across the healthcare continuum engage with consumers and healthcare professionals. KBM Group: Health Services will immediately intensify its focus on helping organizations within the healthcare ecosystem create more meaningful engagements with consumers for the ultimate goal of improving healthcare outcomes while reducing the overall cost of healthcare services.  Dennis Barnes, Jr., President & CEO of MDI, will become President, KBM Group: Health Services. The new unit will remain part of Enterprise Services within KBM Group. 

"While KBM Group and MDI have been recognized and established leaders within healthcare for several years now, current and impending changes to healthcare require a more holistic approach to multi-channel engagement if we are to substantially reduce costs while improving outcomes," says Dennis Kooker, KBM Group's President & COO for Enterprise Services. "Combining KBM Group's industry standards for data, analytics, and database services delivered through its Consumer Healthcare Engagement Platform (CHEP) with MDI's expertise in blending creative content and program design with analytics was an obvious combination. MDI has also invested heavily within innovative digital channels that mark the future of consumer engagement.  The fundamental beliefs of our organizations and how to serve the healthcare ecosystem are very much aligned." 

Dennis Barnes, President & CEO of MDI, says, "We look forward to contributing our successful record of growth and healthcare expertise to KBM Group, and to integrating our capabilities with KBM Group's superb data and analytics capability.  As an agency specializing in healthcare, we are impressed with the level of healthcare subject matter expertise and the vision that KBM Group has created for the healthcare ecosystem.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to lead an organization with the combined resources and capabilities that KBM Group Health will possess; not to mention how exciting it is to be able to prove our more fundamental goal of driving down the cost of healthcare in this country without needing to make villains out of the healthcare providers."  

New York-based mergers & acquisition firm AdMedia Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor to MDI in the transaction (www.admediapartners.com).  For information about MDI and its transition to KBM Group: Health Services, go to www.marketingdirect.com.

About KBM Group

KBM Group is the global leader in knowledge-based marketing solutions.  Expert in both digital and traditional direct marketing, KBM Group helps companies manage, analyze and optimize marketing data to engage more effectively with their customers and prospects.  KBM Group's integrated, world-class solutions include strategic consulting, digital services, database services, analytics, marketing management, response services, data and marketing outsourcing. The company has 16 offices in nine countries serving global, enterprise and B2B2C-focused companies. KBM Group's parent company, Wunderman is part of Young & Rubicam Brands and a member of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY). www.kbmg.com.