The infoUSA-Direct Media Deal: The Experts are Buzzing, What’s Your Take?
The news of infoUSA’s acquisition of Direct Media sent the combined reaction of total expectation and shock waves throughout the catalog/multichannel list industry. My own opinion is that this deal was to be expected considering the path that infoUSA has been going in recent years. Direct Media joins the infoUSA stable that contains Millard Group (including its most recent pick-up, Mokrynskidirect), Edith Roman, Rubin Response, Walter Karl, JAMI Marketing Services and American Church Lists.
Then again, it’s a little surprising considering that Direct Media was sold to Acxiom nearly 12 years ago, only for Direct Media’s management team to buy the company back four years later. But a lot has changed in eight years, and in retrospect, the deals have little in common.
That said, I tend to base some of my opinions largely on what clusters of people in the industry have to say. So I felt that for this column, readers would be better served to hear what their colleagues, competitors and experts felt. Here are some opinions. And this being an open forum for discussion, I encourage you to add your own comments in the post-a-comment box at the end of this article.
First, it’s best that we start with Direct Media CEO Larry May. In announcing the deal and putting his positive spin on it, Larry cited four key benefits to being absorbed by infoUSA:
1. The ability to expand Direct Media’s services in database products and data enhancement, data processing, and e-commerce;
2. The opportunity to keep Direct Media’s management and top staff intact indefinitely;
3. The chance to invest in new products and services; and
4. To improve its internal systems to enhance daily services to customers.
In announcing the deal, infoUSA chairman/CEO Vin Gupta had this to say: “Direct Media’s expertise and impeccable reputation combined with the new technologies from infoUSA will better serve our combined customers and grow our business.”